What is identity theft?

Identity theft is a crime in which someone uses your identity information to commit fraud in your name. It takes many forms, obtaining a credit card, stealing your accounts, even getting a mortgage in your name. In the United Kingdom, fraud experts estimate 100,000 people, or about 0.17% of the population, fell victim last year to account hijacking, new-account fraud or other types of identity theft. In the United States, a Federal Trade Commission survey found 10 million ID-theft victims a year — or 3.39% of the population.
For general information on identity theft, you can visit the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, CIFAS. See, How can I prevent identity theft?