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What Do Identity Thieves Do?

Identity thieves take your personal information and use it to harm you in various ways, including these:

  • Gaining access to your credit card accounts, bank accounts, or brokerage accounts
  • Opening new credit card accounts in your name
  • Opening new bank accounts in your name
  • Buying cars and taking out car loans in your name
  • Using your name and credit to pay for utilities, such as fuel oil or cable television
  • Buying smartphones and phone plans in your name
  • Using your medical insurance to obtain medical services, thereby corrupting your medical records
  • Renting a home
  • Using your name when committing crimes, for which you can be arrested

Although you might not be responsible for fraudulent charges made by an identity thief using your name, the damage to your credit as reflected in your credit report can affect your future employment, insurance applications, and loan applications, as well as future credit arrangements you might want to establish.

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