Identity theft is defined as another person using your identity to spend money or commit unlawful acts. Identity theft can be in the form of credit card fraud, phone or utility fraud, employment fraud, bank fraud, government benefits fraud, loan fraud, and even medical fraud. The consequences of having your identity stolen can be long-term and devastating to your financial health.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft impacts 10 million people each year and costs businesses $50 billion. Unfortunately, it takes on average 12 months for a person to realize he or she has been a victim of identity theft. Many people don't take the steps necessary to report the incident. We are all at risk. What can you do to protect yourself?