is the a takeover of a person's identity by utilising stolen personal
information, or fraudulently obtained, forged or stolen identity documents. It often results in the takeover
of a victim's existing bank accounts or by the fraudulent operation of new accounts opened by the perpetrator
in the victim's name.
Identity theft brings
with it additional problems of victimisation for the person whose
name has been "stolen". These problems centre on the victim undoing
the damage that has been caused to their name and reputation. Many
victims need to expend large amounts of time and resources convincing
banks , financial institutions and other agencies that they were
not responsible for the fraudulent activity that occurred in their
name. Many victims have also found difficulty in restoring their
credit rating to what it was prior to the theft of their name. In
instances where the name stolen is that of a deceased person, the
surviving relatives effectively become the victims and can experience
similar difficulties and associated emotional trauma.