Identity theft is a scam that a person pretends to be another in order to obtain important information such as money, resources or personal information. It is important to point out that the Italian law considers identity thief not the person who uses an invented name, but that of a real person for the specific purpose of obtaining his information, creating damage or disturbing it. The а come really important here.
What is meant?
Identity theft occurs when a person pretends to be someone else for illicit purposes. The definition of identity theft can be clearly seen in the Criminal Code which states that whoever illegitimately replaces a person, to create an advantage for himself or damage to others commits a crime is punished with imprisonment up to one year. If the offense constitutes a crime against the public faith, the penalty is increased.
The distinctive elements of identity theft are therefore:
- Make people believe they are a specific person
- Willingness to create an advantage in itself or harm to others, which can be third parties or the victim is robbed of its identity.
Identity theft online is called identity theft in English and unfortunately, it is a growing phenomenon, a direct consequence of the high use of the digital network and of social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Computer identity theft usually occurs through one of these methods.
Creation of fake profiles that identify a specific person, for example on social networks, or by creating email accounts with the data of another person.
Creating a fake profile on Facebook, for example, is very simple: anyone can create an account, take photos of someone and pretend to be. At the time of registration, Facebook does not ask for any documents and therefore, it goes a bit “in trust”.
Clearly, if that profile is reported, Facebook assistance once identity theft has been verified, removes the account. But unfortunately the Facebook team does not always manage to be very fast and ends when the identity thief has already done damage when he closes the account.
As mentioned above, creating a false digital identity on the net is very easy, while it is less easy to do it in real life: for example, think of a salesman who sells the shop owner, it can happen, but who knows the owner if he would realize it immediately.
The different types can basically be summarized as:
- Identity cloning: the cloning of identity, i.e. the replacement of a person with the aim of creates a new identity and a new kind of life
- Financial Identity Theft: identity theft for the purpose of using the identification data of an individual to obtain credits, financial loans, opens current accounts in the name of the victim
- Criminal Identity Theft: occurs when providing victim data to perform in its instead illegal public acts of various kinds, such as activating new credit cards or telephones mobile phones or other accounts
- Synthetic Identity Theft: personal data of different subjects are combined to build “In the laboratory” completely or partially a new identity based on one’s own need
- Cyber-bullying – impersonation – via mobile or web 2.0 services.
How identity theft occurs
Theft can concern both the data relating to the identity itself (name, surname, date and place of birth, residential address, tax identification number), and data concerning income, movable property bank deposits, investments, valuable goods, etc. and real estate, to credit cards, to ATMs owned.