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Identity theft



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Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using personal details belonging to the victim. This may be a passport, social security card, student pass, credit card etc. A person who has his or her identity stolen can end up owing money when the thief spends the person's money or uses the person's credit.[1]

Identity theft is a serious crime that affects thousands of people. Globally around 40% of the people have been targets of an identity theft crime at least once. With the pace of development in the online or the digital landscape, identity theft is becoming more sophisticated each day. As per statistics, there were 4.54 billion internet users in 2020 which is 59% of the world’s population. On average, there is a 7% rise in internet penetration annually. Meanwhile, there is a remarkable rise in online shopping, social media, and app usage. Accordingly, on average, people spend nearly 7 hours on the internet. With a wide online presence, identity theft has become inevitable in modern society. Out of all the countries, the USA has consistently topped the list with 16.7 million Identity theft victims reported in 2017 accounting for an overall loss estimated at more than USD 17 billion.[2]

Since there is a marked rise in identity theft every year, people should be more vigilant about the potential theft of their personal and financial information. Accordingly, it is highly advisable to safeguard one’s login credentials, create strong passwords and keep the virus guards up to date. It is prudent to constantly monitor your bank accounts for any dubious transactions. Besides, special caution needs to be taken when disposing of financial statements, receipts, and credit card bills.

References

  1. Hastings, Bernard (April 6, 2021). "Identity Theft statistics - how to protect yourself" (in en). VPNCompass.com. https://www.vpncompass.com/identity-theft-statistics. Retrieved August 30, 2021. 
  2. "Identity Theft" (in en). Dotdash. February 13, 2021. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/identitytheft.asp. Retrieved August 30, 2021. 

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