What Identity Theft is about
Each and every one of us is very unique and we each have our very own distinct identity. We are all proud of our
name, our standing and our accomplishments. We have all been annoyed when someone took the credit for something we
did. It might have been a misunderstanding by the teacher, parent, coach or boss that caused the problem, more than
the other person who got all the praise.
You are just annoyed that they bask in the glory of the moment when you think they really should turn and
deflect at least some of the credit on to you. You soon learn its part of life, and to "just get over it" and move
on. It usually does not really matter in the bigger scheme of things.
The problem becomes much more serious when your identity is not just borrowed for a moment, but is actually
deliberately stolen and used for profit by someone else. Worse, there may be serious consequences for you
You may incur financial losses. You could have a black mark placed against your character socially, in your work
place, when you want to access credit in future, or even legally in the form of a criminal record.
You could face severe difficulties just getting on with the routines of your life. Insurance, bank and lending
companies may not wish to do business with you, or impose tough terms. You may find it difficult to get a job. It
may be difficult for you to rent a home. Foreign countries may not admit you as a visitor if the records show you
are a criminal. You could face big bills from having to engage identity theft lawyers to protect your status
You may well have every right to feel aggrieved. These kinds of identity theft are crimes, and you become a
victim of crime. Nevertheless, the processes to recover your losses and put your reputation right will probably
move very slowly, and perhaps at great emotional cost and financial expense to you. And this process will take
place for you at a very intimate and hurtful personal level, because it is your personal repute that is at
The problem for those in authority is deciding who, in fact, is the perpetrator of identity theft - you or the
thief. If you put yourself in their position, it appears that both you and the identity thief seem to be the same
person. We all have rights, even thieves pretending to be you, and we are all assumed to be innocent until proven
guilty under our legal system.
Until you or an investigator can show clear evidence one way or the other, and until those in authority accept
you are the "real" you, and what you have or have not done, then you may feel under suspicion as the thief
yourself. You may find it necessary to engage an identity theft attorney.
Expect to be somewhat frustrated as the wheels of justice slowly grind away to sort out these questions. And
expect it may take several years to fully clear your records of the damage an identity thief can do to your
It is very wise to take what measures you reasonably can to prevent your identity being stolen in the first