Identity theft is often described as a crime that causes irreparable harm to its victims. But what exactly is that harm?
If you are the victim of identity theft, you might not realize that your identity has been stolen until it is too late, and the process of clearing your name and cleaning up the mess takes a lot of time. Your reputation is at stake, and so is your health and financial freedom.
Many victims of identity theft find it difficult to recover their previous financial state. In addition, they have to cope with ongoing emotional distress.
RKN Global Highlights Specific Harms Linked to Identity Theft:
Here are some of the harms caused by identity theft:
Identity theft can cause specific financial harms. An identity thief may drain your bank account, wiping out part or all of your savings. The effect on you and your family can last a lifetime.
Identity theft can ruin your credit rating. When criminals steal your identity, they can run up huge bills on your credit card. They can use your identity to apply for lines of credit for which you could be responsible if you cannot prove it was not you who did it. In a worst case scenario, you might not only might be on the hook for the debts, but your credit rating is likely to suffer. You might not be able to access loans, mortgages, and even driving licenses.
RKN Global Warns That Identity Theft Can Lead to a Loss of Benefits and Legal Problems:
Losing your personal information can make you miss out on essential benefits. In some countries, you could have trouble getting health insurance, for example. This could ultimately endanger your health if you are unable to access adequate medical treatment because of lack of resources.
Proving that the person who stole your identity is not you can be very difficult. Clearing your name is not a matter of the thief showing up and confessing; he or she will be long gone. In the meantime, you will be left with a long and difficult journey to prove you did not make the purchases that the thief made in your name. Add to this any crimes he or she committed while using your identity, and it becomes clear that identity theft can ruin your life.
In light of the dangers of identity theft to your credit, financial well-being, health and job benefits, and legal status, as well as the emotional stress these bring about, RKN Global recommends that you take steps to protect yourself against identity theft.