Find Reviews for...

Disclosure: We might receive advertising revenue from some partners.

What Is Financial Identity Theft?

Graham Cook  — May 11, 2019

Identity theft occurs so frequently that the FBI cites it as the leading criminal issue in America. Thieves often steal identities while using names, addresses, as well as Social Security Numbers, bank account information and credit card numbers to access critical user’s information online.

Financial identity theft happens when an individual uses another person’s identification information to benefit financially. For instance, when someone accesses a user’s bank account through stealing the debit card information that is termed as financial identity theft. Many have been wondering what is financial identity theft.

What Is Financial Identity Theft?

Other fraudsters can steal the PIN to gain quick access to vital information. A sophisticated version of the crime would include when the thief uses a person’s identification documents or details to add a name to a user’s financial accounts in order to take over the account.

In the corporate world, thieves grace news headlines when they enter into a broader consumer database and gain access to thousands of names to use in stealing funds. Financial identity theft may also occur from within the organization. Insiders can use a worker’s access information to gain access to confidential data or steal from the employer’s files.

Is Financial Identity Theft Common?

Financial identity theft is often less publicized when it happens on a personal level. However, the frequency of the occurrence is distressing since the simplest stealing method involves finding a wallet or going through the trash.

Financial identity theft may also be as easy as peering over the shoulder of an account owner while they use an ATM at their local bank. Additional sophisticated methods of stealing financial information include targeting the deceased’s information via their obituaries, harvesting information from someone’s email, in addition to obtaining credit card information through skimming.

What Happens with Financial Identify?

When financial identity is stolen, the thief becomes the user. It is assumed that the new identity owner is in charge of all the financial details at the bank or any financial institution.

As such, less sophisticated criminals will spend the funds and open new credit cards in the name of the original card owner. Sophisticated thieves will use the name of the original owner of financial details to handle various businesses.

They can also obtain personal identification including a driver’s license and utilize it to take out a car loan or open a bank account.

How to Prevent Financial Identity Theft

Generally, identity theft protection companies are the best way to keep yourself safe from identity thieves. They do this by offering three primary services:

Monitoring and evaluation: Financial identity theft protection companies help users to monitor their credit files. They also alert users regarding their activities such as the opening of a new account in the user’s name, and inquiries received so that the user can react quickly.

Giving alerts: Financial identity theft protection firms alert the user about where their financial data has been used. The strategy is useful in assisting people in realizing that identity theft has occurred.

Recovery services: If an individual steals information and then uses it maliciously, a financial identity theft company can help the user to recover the loss.