Key Terms

Business/Commercial Identity Theft:
A type of identity theft that occurs when someone uses another's business name to obtain credit.
Child Identity Theft:
A type of identity theft that occurs when a minor’s social security number is used by another person for personal gain. The thief may be a parent, relative or stranger.
Criminal Identity Theft:
A type of identity theft that occurs when a person is arrested and uses someone else’s identity by providing a previously stolen drivers license or ‘fake ID’.
Dumpster Diving:
The act of rummaging through another person’s trash for personal information.
Financial Identity Theft:
A type of identity theft that occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information to obtain credit, goods and/or services.
Identity Cloning:
Identity cloning is a type of identity theft that occurs when someone impersonates another individual to conceal their true identity. This type of theft may be used by illegal immigrants, individuals seeking to hide from creditors or for other personal reasons.
Identity Fraud:
Identity fraud occurs when someone uses a stolen identity to obtain goods or services.
Identity Theft:
Identify theft is an umbrella term which can be used to describe anything from a one-time fraudulent credit card transaction to identity cloning. It is the criminal act of taking an individual’s identity without their knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes.
Medical Identity Theft:
A type of identity theft that occurs when someone uses a person's name and insurance information to obtain medical services or prescriptions or uses the person’s identity information to make false insurance claims.
PIN Number:
A personal identification (PIN) number between a user and a system used to authenticate the user and gain access into the system.
Ruse:
An action or plan which is intended to deceive someone.
Shoulder Surfing:
The act of directly observing another person as they complete a form or enter a PIN number or password into an ATM, point of sale terminal or public computer for fraudulent purposes.