Identity Theft

A fingerprint and Social Security card

Legal Definition

Identity Theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone's identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, or mother's maiden name, in order to impersonate them.


This information enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which include, but are not limited to:
  • Applying for Loans
  • Credit Cards and Social Security Benefits
  • Establishing Services With Utility and Phone Companies
  • Opening New Bank Accounts
  • Purchasing Automobiles
  • Renting Apartments
  • Taking Over the Victim's Financial Accounts
For more information, visit the Identity Theft Council website.

How does Identity Theft occur?

Examples of how Identity Theft may occur include:
  • Change of address forms that can be completed by a thief with your information.
  • Personal data retrieved from trash cans.
  • Personal information that is either bought or stolen from inside sources, such as the Internet.
  • Theft of mail, especially bank and credit card statements and pre-approved credit applications.
  • Theft of purse or wallet containing ID, credit and bank cards.