Criminal identity theft is more than someone just using your credit card number

Elvis Elvis

Criminal identity theft is more than someone cleaning out your bank account or racking up charges on your credit card accounts. No, it’s much worse.

This type of identity theft involves crimes that you didn’t commit but that you could go to jail for. Offenses that will get you real jail time. The crimes include driving drunk, insurance fraud, check fraud, embezzlement and burglary – just to name a few. And if you thought it was a hassle to try to clear your credit report, imagine the hassle of getting arrested, hauled off to jail and then trying to clear your name of a crime you knew nothing about – like our returning war veteran Alfredo T. had to do.

How does it work? Criminal identity theft involves someone purposely assuming your identity to actually live as you and commit crimes. They buy (or just plain steal) your state issued driver license number as well as your social security number and even a counterfeit birth certificate from a variety of sources such as data sellers (both legal and illegal). This impersonation of you is done so that the crimes they commit go on your record and not theirs. These criminals, when caught doing whatever crime they set out to do, may actually appear in court as you. But they don’t actually go to jail for you, rather they skip out on bail. When an arrest warrant is issued, it is you who gets arrested and goes to jail, not them. It’s possible that it is already happening to you but the arrest warrant hasn’t caught up to you yet.

Even if you don’t think you’re a victim of criminal identity theft or that you’ll get falsely arrested, there is the issue of losing your job. Since 9/11, more employers are performing background checks not only upon initial hire, but also as a routine business safety practice. There are numerous cases of people getting fired based on these reports – even if the information is inaccurate. Therefore it is best to find out now while you are still walking around free and still employed – and while you can do something about it.

Criminal identity theft is more than someone just using your credit card number

This is serious and becoming more common, so how do you find out if some criminal is pretending to be you and going on some crime spree? Your best bet is to order a background check on yourself. These types of checks will report all public records about you including such things as court judgments and criminal history. This is what you want to know. The reports may also reveal variations on your name that others may be using. Or it may show nothing unusual at all – the ideal situation. You can get a one-time report or a monthly report. I prefer the monthly reports because the public records sweep shows you how your your information changes from month-to-month.

Don’t wait until you are falsely arrested or wrongly terminated. Find out now. Here’s a short list of companies that I use:

  • Intelius
  • Net Detective
  • US Search
  • Best People Search

If you’ve discovered that you’re a victim of criminal identity theft you may need serious professional or legal help because some of these criminals are part of a much bigger operation that often involve international crime rings and even the Mafia.