What is Identity Fraud?

Every individual has an identity; this is what differentiates one from the other. This identity may relate to several personal characteristics and features, even surface aspects like name. In today’s highly crime ridden environment there are several kinds of thefts and frauds that affect people on a large scale.

One of the more common kinds that are affecting people the world over is identity fraud.

Identity fraud v/s identity theft

When a person steals another individual’s identity, it is known as identity theft. However, if the same person uses personal details of that individual to make payments or perform other activities be it legal or illegal, it is identity fraud. In a simpler from, impersonating someone intentionally may be considered an identity fraud.

How it affects a person

If someone steals an individual’s identity and uses it against his knowledge or wishes, it may lead to several problems. Not only can the impersonator make illegal payments using the individual’s personal banking details, he can also frame the person for acts he hasn’t actually committed.

The person whose identity has been stolen or used against his wishes may suffer bad reputation among peers; he may even be jailed if convicted of a crime if the identity fraud cannot be established.

In certain cases, if the victim’s identity is used to make payments without his knowledge, it may also affect his overall credit rating. As a result, criminal lawyer is usually hired to defend the victim and prove the case of fraud.