All across India, the fastest growing White Collar Crime in the nation has been identified as Identity Theft- and it is affecting each one of us in different ways.
We have all heard of the problem, but only few have recognized the theft of the identity can be so devastating. Identity Theft, as a term, refers to Fraud that involves stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be someone else. The term is relatively new and is actually a misnomer, since it is not inherently possible to steal an identity, only to use it. The person whose identity is used can suffer various consequences when they are held responsible for the perpetrator's actions.


Identity Theft can also be used to facilitate crimes like Illegal Immigration , Terrorism and Espionage, further it can also be used as a tool for Blackmail. There have also been cases on Identity Cloning so as to attack the Payment Systems , Online Credit Card Processing , Online Banking

The main ingredient for Identity theft is the victim’s personal and identity information. Some of the common methods for obtaining personal Information are:

# Stealing Mails.
# Retrieving Information from Computer servers that have been disposed off carelessly.
# Researching information about the person from Government Registers, Internet Search Engines or Public Records .
# Retrieving Information from Social Networking Websites (Face book , LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
# Stealing Personal or Payment Identity cards through Pickpocketing etc.
# Stealing information in Computer Databases (Trojan Horses, Hacking)
# Advertising Bogus Job Offers.
# Phishing
# Vishing


Today the number of person engaging in transactions through the use of Internet in India are increasing at an alarming rate and so are these Crimes. According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) the percentage of Cyber Crimes accounted around 65% but the actual number prove to be elusive considering the fact that most of such cases go unreported.

The next few sections talk about specific types of Identity thefts and its impact on its victims.