What is Identity Theft?
In simple language, Identity theft is a type of crime in which a person's personal information is stolen and used without their consent for fraudulent or criminal purposes. This stolen information can include things like the victim's name, social security number, financial account numbers, credit card information details, and other sensitive details.
Here's how identity theft typically occurs:
A) Collection of Information - In this type of crime cyber criminals first obtain personal information through various means. There are various ways to collect sensitive information this can happen through methods like phishing emails, data breaches, stealing physical documents, or even through social engineering tactics.
B) Misuse of Collected Information - The next stage is Misuse of Collected Information cyber criminals/thieves use the stolen information to impersonate the victim. They might open new credit accounts, make purchases, apply for loans, or engage in other financial activities using the victim's identity.
C) Concealing the Crime: The identity thief often takes steps to cover their tracks, making it harder for the victim to realize what has happened and for law enforcement to track them down.
D) Financial and Emotional Damage: The victim may suffer significant financial losses, damage to their credit score, and emotional distress as a result of the identity theft.
E) Resolution and Recovery: In this type of cybercrime Resolving identity theft can be a lengthy and complex process. Victims often need to work with law enforcement, credit agencies, and financial institutions to restore their credit and finances.
Punishment for identity theft under IT Act 2000
As per Section 66 of The Information Technology Act 2000, whoever, fraudulently or dishonestly makes use of the electronic signature, password, or any other unique identification feature of any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to rupees one lakh.