Identity (ID) Theft is when a person uses someone else’s ID to profit for themselves. Often the ID thief will open new accounts in their victim’s name with no intention of ever paying on the accounts. In extreme cases, ID thieves will present a false ID when they have medical treatment or are arrested.
All types of ID theft are harmful to the victim. At a minimum, they could be left with delinquent accounts in their name that they have to fight to expunge from their record. At the other end of the spectrum, victims could have a warrant for their arrest due illegal actions performed in their name. In the case of medical ID theft, the victim could potentially receive the wrong treatment because their legitimate medical records got mixed up with the records of the ID thief. Most often the victim will have to spend time clearing their name with creditors, which can be time consuming and frustrating.