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Types of Identity Theft

When we hear about identity theft, we think of someone taking your Social Security number or other information and using it to charge up your credit cards or empty your bank accounts. However, that is only one type of identity theft. Learn more about the types of identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says there are three types of identity theft about which you should be aware:

  • Tax-Related Identity Theft. This occurs when the identity thief takes your Social Security number to either take your tax refund or get a job. According to the FTC, you should contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit of the Internal Revenue Service if you receive notice that you were paid by an employer you do not know or that more than one tax return was filed in your name.
  • Child Identity Theft. This occurs when an identity thief uses a child’s Social Security number to open bank accounts and credit card accounts, apply for government benefits, apply for loans, set up utility service or rent a place to live. To make sure your child’s identity has not been stolen, check your child’s credit report. If your child’s school requires personal information, find out how they dispose of that information.
  • Medical Identity Theft. This occurs when an identity thief takes your name or health insurance number to get medical attention, obtain prescription drugs or file insurance claims. Your treatment records, insurance records, payment records and credit may be affected if your information is mixed with the identity thief’s information
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