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What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a crime in which your identity or your personal data such as Aadhar card, PAN card, credit/ debit card details are used by another person to commit a crime or fraud without your knowledge. As per a report by Securitas, almost 19 people fall prey to identity theft every minute in India.
How does Identity Theft occur?
Some of the common ways by which your identity can be compromised are:
- Stolen wallets.
- Intercepting letters and correspondence meant for you.
- Skimming your credit/ debit card details at an ATM.
- Phishing for information through fraudulent phone calls, emails, etc.
How does this affect you?
Identity theft can have far reaching ramifications for your financial and personal life. Fraudsters can apply for credit cards, loans and make purchases using doctored or fake documents bearing your personal information. You would be legally liable for such purchases until identity theft charges can be proven. Your credit score may be impacted and you may not be eligible for credit in the intervening period.
What to do when your identity is stolen?
Discover the source- You should find the origin of the theft. You might have used your debit/ credit card to register on a website or downloaded a new app.
Change your passwords- As soon as you know that your data is stolen, you should change all your passwords for all the financial services that you use.
Contact your bank- You should immediately get in touch with your bank when your credit/ debit card is used for fraud purchase.
File a police report- As soon as you become aware that your identity has been stolen, report the matter to the police and file an FIR. This is mandatory while seeking the reversal of any fraudulent or unauthorized transactions that may be attributed to the perpetrator of the fraud.
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