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What is Identity Cloning?

Viraj Yadav

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, such as their name, identification number, or credit card number, to commit fraud or other offences without their consent. 1964: Identity theft coined. Since then, identity theft is regulated as personal information theft in the U.K. and U.S. Identity thieves use others' identities to gain financial benefits, obtain credit, and cause other harm. Identity theft can have negative consequences, especially if the perpetrator is wrongly punished. Personal identifiable information includes a person's name, date of birth, SSN, driver's licence number, bank account or credit card number, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, and passwords.

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Because identity theft victims don't know how their personal information was obtained, it's hard to draw conclusions about data breaches and thefts. Identity theft isn't always obvious to victims, according to FTC research. Identity fraud often follows identity theft. Someone can take or misappropriate personal information during a data breach without committing identity theft. "Most breaches have not resulted in identity theft," says a GAO report. The study said the issue's "scope" is unclear. Although "mostly, the origins of identity theft are unknown," unpublished research by Carnegie Mellon University found "the chance of becoming a victim of identity theft as a result of a data breach is about 2 percent." According to the company whose systems were compromised, 1,800 cases of identity theft were reported in one of the largest data breaches affecting over 4 million records.


Information from organisations such as the Non-Profit Identity Theft Resource Center categorises identity theft into five general types:

  • Identity Cloning and Concealment: A thief assumes another's identity. This category includes those seeking anonymity for personal reasons, illegal immigrants, and debtors. Posers use social media to share others' photos and bios. Impersonators typically tell stories about their subject's friends. Identity thieves may conceal identity theft for a long time if they use fake credentials to pass several authentication tests.
  • Criminal Identity Theft: "Criminal Identity Theft" occurs when criminals falsify their identity. Criminals acquire state-issued IDs using fake or stolen credentials. Using the victim's identity if the disguise succeeds. These incidents may only be found by accident, such as when victims get court summonses or have their licence suspended for minor driving offences, or when employment background checks are conducted. The method to clear an erroneous criminal record depends on the jurisdiction and whether the real perpetrator can be identified. The cybersecurity salary in India can go up to INR 6 lakhs per annum. 
  • Synthetic Identity Theft: It is a form of identity theft that has grown in popularity in recent years, where a victim's identity is entirely or partially created from scratch. A real social security number is frequently combined with a name and birthdate that aren't just linked to it. As a new file in the credit bureau or as a sub-file on one of the victim's credit reports, synthetic identity theft is more difficult to track. It doesn't appear directly on either person's credit report. Synthetic identity theft targets credit holders because they unknowingly grant credit to the fraudsters. Victims whose names are mixed up with fake IDs or whose credit ratings are negatively affected by their subfiles are at risk.
  • Medical Identity Theft: Pam Dixon invented "medical ID theft" in 2006. Her report recounted the crime and victims' anguish. According to studies, medical identity theft entails seeking medical treatment under another person's name. Thieves who steal your insurance card or information may masquerade as you. Identity theft may affect victims financially and medically. If a victim's medical records include misleading information, an insurer may withhold coverage, resulting in improper treatment.
  • Child Identity Theft: Child identity theft occurs when someone uses a minor's identity. The impostor might be a friend or a stranger. Children's SSNs are desired since they lack identifying information. Thieves may apply for credit and a driver's licence using a child's ID. Most children don't realise this deceit for years. According to study, child identity theft is rising. The biggest investigation on juvenile identity theft concluded that 10.2% of 40,000 youngsters were victims. You can learn more about this subject by opting a cybersecurity course in India.
Viraj Yadav
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