Identity Theft Definition

Identity Theft Definition, can you explain it to me?

Has Identity Theft touched your life yet?

If not, BEWARE it maybe just around the corner!!

The current definition of Identity Theft is when someone uses your personal identifying information like your credit card, name or social security number without your permission for the purpose of committing fraud and or other crimes.

Identity Theft according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has impacted as many as 10 million Americans.

Today it appears to be one of the fastest growing crimes. Do you know someone who has been a victim of identity theft? Identity theft by its nature can take on many forms.

In some cases a criminal who has obtained your identity such as a credit card number:

1. May open a wireless account,

2. Obtain another credit card or,

3. Maybe even rent an apartment in your name without your knowledge.

In many cases the victim has no knowledge of the crime until months later or when debt collectors start calling.

Identity Theft is a serious problem and growing. Actually the definitions of Identity Theft keeps changing as criminals are finding new and different ways to obtain and use Identities.

You may be surprised by the number of friends and family that have already been impacted by this crime. You need to be alert and that is what is here to help you with answers to your questions on identity theft.

Identity Theft Definition Terms

Glossary of Common Terms

Card Scanning

Card Scanning is an identity theft definition of a method of theft in which a criminal places a special device on a credit card swiping machine or ATM in order to read the cardholder's personal and account data.

Data Breach

A Data Breach is a identity theft definition which is the intentional or unintentional release of secure information to an untrusted environment. A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so."

Drive-by Download

Drive-by Download is an identity theft definition that means three things, each concerning the unintended download of computersoftware from the Internet:

1. Downloads which a person authorized but without understanding the consequences (e.g. downloads which install an unknown or counterfeit executable program, ActiveX component, orJava applet). This is usually caused by poor security design[clarification needed]. The user should not be frequently asked to accept security-critical decisions, often with very limited knowledge and within limited time.

2. Any download that happens without a person's knowledge.

3. Download of spyware, a computer virus or any kind of malware that happens without a person's knowledge.


In criminal law, a Fraud is a identity theft definition which is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by


Hacker (term), is a identity theft definition where a contentious term used in computing for several types of person

Hacker (computer security) or cracker, who accesses a computer system by circumventing its security system

Hidden Dialers

Programs that can use your computer to dial expensive phone calls that later show up on your phone bill.

Identity Fraud

Identity Fraud is an identity theft definition that occurs when someone steals personal information, opens credit card accounts in the victim's name without permission, and charges merchandise to those accounts.

Conversely, identity fraud does not occur when a credit card is simply stolen. Stealing one’s credit card may be consumer fraud, but is not identity fraud. Identity fraud is a synonym of unlawful identity change. It indicates unlawful activities that use the identity of another person or of a non-existing person as a principal tool for merchandise procurement.

Identity fraud can occur without identity theft, as in the case where the fraudster has been given someone's identity information for other reasons but uses it to commit fraud, or when the person whose identity is being used is colluding with the person committing the fraud.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a form of fraud or cheating of another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name.

The victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if he or she is held accountable for the perpetrator's actions.

Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims.

Keystroke Logging

Keystroke logging (often called keylogging) is a identity theft definition which is the action of tracking (or logging) the keys struck on akeyboard, typically in a covert manner so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored. However most key logging programs prohibit downloading from the affected victim due to encryption issues and wireless-to-computer difficulties (unless directly on the victim's computer). There are numerous keylogging methods, ranging from hardware and software-based approaches to electromagnetic and acoustic analysis.

Mail Fraud

Mail fraud is an identity theft definition which is an offense under United States federal law, which includes any scheme that attempts to unlawfully obtain money or valuables in which the postal system is used at any point in the commission of a criminal offense. Mail fraud is covered by Title 18 of the United States Code, Chapter 63. As in the case of wire fraud, this statute is often used as a basis for a separate federal prosecution of what would otherwise have been only a violation of a state law.

"Mail fraud" is a term of art referring to a specific statutory crime in the United States of America. In countries with nonfederal legal systems the concept of mail fraud is irrelevant: the activities are likely to be crimes there, but the fact that they are carried out by mail makes no difference as to which authority may prosecute or as to the penalties which may be imposed. In the 1960s and '70s, inspectors under regional chief postal inspectors such as Martin McGee, known as "Mr. Mail Fraud," exposed and prosecuted numerous swindles involving land sales, phony advertising practices, insurance ripoffs and fraudulent charitable organizations using mail fraud charges.


Malware, is an identity theft definition which is short for malicious software, consists of programming (code, scripts, active content, and other software) designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior.[1] The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code.


Pharming is a hacker's attack aiming to redirect a website's traffic to another, bogus website. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploitationof a vulnerability in DNS server software. DNS servers are computers responsible for resolving Internet names into their real addresses — they are the "signposts" of the Internet. Compromised DNS servers are sometimes referred to as "poisoned".

The term pharming is a neologism based on farming and phishing. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack to obtain access credentials such as user names and passwords. In recent years both pharming and phishing have been used for online identity theft information. Pharming has become of major concern to businesses hosting ecommerce and online banking websites. Sophisticated measures known as anti-pharming are required to protect against this serious threat. Antivirus softwareand spyware removal software cannot protect against pharming.


Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwordsand credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging,[1] and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.

Phishing is an example of social engineeringtechniques used to deceive users,[2] and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies.[3] Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.


Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to engage a targeted victim in a manner that increases the chance the victim will divulge information or perform actions that would be unlikely in ordinary circumstances[4]. An elaborate lie, it most often involves some prior research or setup and the use of this information for impersonation (e.g., date of birth, Social Security Number, last bill amount) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target.

This technique can be used to trick a business into disclosing customer information as well as byprivate investigators to obtain telephone records, utility records, banking records and other information directly from company service representatives. The information can then be used to establish even greater legitimacy under tougher questioning with a manager, e.g., to make account changes, get specific balances, etc.

Pretexting can also be used to impersonate co-workers, police, bank, tax authorities, clergy, insurance investigators — or any other individual who could have perceived authority or right-to-know in the mind of the targeted victim. The pretexter must simply prepare answers to questions that might be asked by the victim. In some cases all that is needed is a voice that sounds authoritative, an earnest tone, and an ability to think on one's feet.

Security Alert (Fraud Alert)

A statement added to one's credit report when a credit bureau is notified that the consumer may be a victim of fraud. It remains on file for 90 days and suggests that creditors should request proof of identification before granting credit in that person's name. Once a security alert is in place, the report is no longer available for online viewing.


Spam is the use of electronic messagingsystems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam,spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam,Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions,social networking spam, television advertisingand file sharing network spam.

Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. In the year 2011, the estimated figure for spam messages is around seven trillion. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.

A person who creates electronic spam is called a spammer.


In the context of network security, a spoofing attack is a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data and thereby gaining an illegitimate advantage.


Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers, and which collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.

While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user's computing, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types ofpersonal information, such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting Web browser activity. Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet connection or functionality of other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is provided by the term privacy-invasive software.

In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security practices for computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer.

Trojan Horses

A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but (perhaps in addition to the expected function) steals information or harms the system.[1] The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.


A computer virus is a identity theft definition of a computer program that can replicate itself[1] and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive.

Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.


Vishing is a new identity theft definition which is the criminal practice of using social engineering over the telephone system, most often using features facilitated by Voice over IP (VoIP), to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward. The term is a combination of "voice" andphishing. Vishing exploits the public's trust in landline telephone services, which have traditionally terminated in physical locations known to the telephone company, and associated with a bill-payer.

The victim is often unaware that VoIP makes formerly difficult-to-abuse tools/features of caller ID spoofing, complex automated systems (IVR), low cost, and anonymity for the bill-payer widely available. Vishing is typically used to steal credit card numbers or other information used in identity theft schemes from individuals.


A computer worm is an identity theft definition which is a self-replicating malware computer program, which uses a computer network to send copies of itself to other nodes (computers on the network) and it may do so without any user intervention. This is due to security shortcomings on the target computer. Unlike a computer virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program. Worms almost always cause at least some harm to the network, even if only by consuming bandwidth, whereas viruses almost always corrupt or modify files on a targeted computer.

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