Identity Theft: A Growing threat

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

“Although nothing can guarantee that you will never become an identity theft victim. With the widespread availability of personal information and the increasing exposure from data breaches, the risk is ever present”


Shreya Sharma

DRASInt Risk Alliance Private Limited


Introduction

Identity theft is a widespread problem affecting approximately 8 million people every year. A common scenario involves an offender who obtain or buys a victim’s personally identifying information from an acquaintance or employee of an agency with access to such information. The offender then, uses such information to acquire or produce additional identity-related confidential documents such as licence, credit cards or even bank account related information. The various Cyber techniques amongst others through which data is stolen are Hacking, Phishing, E-Mail/SMS Spoofing, Carding and Vishing. Data which is stolen include Property ID, Passport ID, Driver's license ID, Social Security ID, Medical ID, Character/Criminal ID and Financial ID. Some of the tell-tale signs may include when cheque get refused by bank, doubtful EMIs are debited from account, unfamiliar charges on credit report, medical providers bill for services which weren’t used and receiving a message that information was compromised by a data.


The report and findings from annual Cyber Safety Insights Report, Pune shows that nearly 4 in 10 respondents experienced identity theft in India. The problem is compounded by the fact that approximately 63 percent are unaware about identity theft and have no idea related to deal with such crimes.

According to US Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (1998), Identity Theft is termed as unlawful if a person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal Law, or that constitutes a felony under law. The term identity theft i.e. the misuse of an in