– by Dr John Russell BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIET
Identity theft occurs when someone steals and misuses an individual’s personal data such as their name, address or passport number. Whilst this theft of identity is, by itself, not a crime under UK law, misusing the identity information to fraudulently obtain goods or services is. Identity theft has most commonly arisen from physical attacks such as burglary or pick-pocketing where identifying information is stolen from credit cards, passports or driving licences. More recently, though, identity theft has enveloped the online world as a result of:
- Increasing numbers of consumers surfing or shopping on-line
- More online sources of personal information often derived from the Electoral Register
- Increased use of credit and information exchanged with banks and retailers.
This white paper is primarily aimed at corporate audiences and examines identity theft in relation to the risks associated with eCommerce and the Internet. It also covers issues relating to personal identity theft and will, therefore, be of interest to individuals themselves as well as organisations..
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