Summary: IDENTITY THEFT
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Identity theft is a growing crimeproblem that reaches all across America to all states and all corners
of this nation. Identity theft is growing at an alarming rate--it is estimated that last year alone, over
700,000 Americans became victims of identity theft. As credit cards become more difficult to alter
and/or manufacture, criminals have taken to stealing the personal information of others to obtain
credit, good and services.
Identity theft involves the acquisition of personal information of another person, such as their name,
address, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, employee identification
number, PIN number, passportnumber, telephonenumber, mother'smaiden name, etc. and the use
of this information for an unlawful purpose(s).
This information enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which can include, but
are not limited to, taking over one's financial accounts, opening new bank accounts, applying for
loans, credit cards and social security benefits, renting apartments, buying automobiles and
establishing services with utility and telephone companies.