Identity theft is when a criminal acquires and uses someones personal information and then uses that information to, in a sense, become that person for a while.

The most common uses of identity theft are credit card and check fraud. Some other uses that can occur are illegal immigration, blackmail, crime or just attacking an individual for revenge.

Identity theft can really destroy someones life for months or even years. The most common result is destruction of credit.

People often get credit cards and open bank accounts in the victims name and buy all kinds of expensive merchandise they can either keep or sell for cash.

In extreme cases, loans can be taken out for thousands of dollars and the identity thief can simply disappear. Luckily, a photo identification is necessary for high priced transactions and loans most of the time.

Credit isn’t the only thing that can be destroyed by identity theft. Many times, criminals will use your personal information to get a drivers license because they are wanted or plan to commit many crimes very soon.

If these criminals rent a car that is used in a crime, guess who is the first suspect? That’s right, its YOU. By the time you even realize this has happened, your name and picture might be all over the news.

This can annihilate your good name in your community or even the entire country. Even when it is proved you had absolutely nothing to do with the crime, people will still associate you with that particular event.