Synthetic Identity Theft

Synthetic identity theft is a form of identity theft where criminals create counterfeit identities by combining real and fabricated information to deceive and exploit individuals, businesses, or financial institutions. Unlike traditional identity theft, where someone’s personal information is stolen without their knowledge, synthetic identity theft involves the creation of entirely new identities that often seem legitimate.

In synthetic identity theft, fraudsters typically start by using a real Social Security number, generally one belonging to a child or a person with limited credit history. They then combine this stolen piece of information with fabricated details such as fake names, birth dates, addresses, and employment history to create a new identity. The purpose of this deception is to establish credit accounts, open bank accounts, apply for loans or credit cards, and engage in various fraudulent activities, slowly building and exploiting these synthetic identities over time. Due to the blend of real and fake information, synthetic identity theft can be challenging to detect and often goes unnoticed until significant financial damage has occurred.

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