Browse Definitions :
Definition

synthetic identity theft

Synthetic identity theft is the use of someone's personally identifiable information (PII), which the thief combines with made-up details to create a false identity. 

The thief may steal an individual's social security number, for example, and use it in conjunction with a false name and address. The thief typically creates fake businesses to provide the identity with credit and employment histories. Once the identity is established, the thief can use it to obtain credit and open bank accounts, usually for fraudulent purposes. Less frequently, thieves use the information to create new identities for themselves or to sell. 

Synthetic identity theft often goes undetected. The person whose data was stolen doesn't usually also have funds stolen or credit charges made on their accounts because the thief opens new accounts. The thief accesses funds through these accounts, which are not connected to any actual person. 

The direct victims of synthetic identity theft are usually the creditors. Indirectly, consumers suffer as creditor losses are passed on to them. According to experts, the vast majority of identity theft fraud is based on synthetic IDs.

To prevent synthetic identity theft, any organization that stores personally identifying information should ensure that all details match for any given unique identifier

 

This was last updated in January 2014

Continue Reading About synthetic identity theft

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • email virus

    An email virus consists of malicious code distributed in email messages to infect one or more devices.

  • key fob

    A key fob is a small, programmable device that provides access to a physical object.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • JBOD (just a bunch of disks)

    JBOD, which stands for 'just a bunch of disks,' is a type of multilevel configuration for disks.

  • bare-metal restore

    A bare-metal restore (also referred to as bare-metal recovery or bare-metal backup) is a data recovery and restoration process ...

  • mSATA SSD (mSATA solid-state drive)

    An mSATA SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to the mSATA interface specification developed by the Serial ATA (SATA) ...

Close