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What Identify Thieves Do With Your Stolen Identity

identity theftWhen you think of identity thieves, you may conjure up images of master criminals stealing large sums of money or selling information on the black market. The truth is that while there are larger crime rings that do this type of theft, your average identity thief is looking for something a bit smaller. However this theft can still hurt and affect your credit score negatively.

To help you stay informed, here are some ways identity thieves could be using your information.

To gain employment
If a personal has a criminal history or bad credit, a stolen identity may be the ticket to better employment. It’s not easy to get a job when these issues ensue. If you notice a place of employment on your credit report that you have never worked, there’s a good chance your identity has been compromised.

To gain medical services
Medical identity theft is a real crime and it happens more than you would think. It can happen to help someone receive health care, Medicare benefits and even to pose as a doctor to get paid for services. This can go by undetected, especially if the thief keeps up with co-payments. To detect this type of theft, you would need to look at medical records and/or receive confirmation or bills for services you have not received.

To gain access to government documents
You need a social security number to obtain many crucial government documents, including your birth certificate, driver’s license and passport. Stealing an identity allows illegal immigrants to obtain these documents and work undetected. Checking your credit report for any additional accounts or employment would help uncover this type of fraud.

To commit crime
With states like California having a three-strike law, using a fake identity when booked for a crime can keep a person out of jail. Law enforcement may not cross-check identity paperwork and an arrest warrant could be issued to the stolen identity.

These are only a few of the ways your identity could be used falsely. As you can see, it’s important to keep tabs on your credit and what’s happening with your personal finances. That way, if your identity is stolen, you can hopefully do something about it before it becomes a larger issue.

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