National Look-Alike Day is a day to celebrate how much you may look like another person. Some look-alikes impersonate celebrities, some just happen to look a lot like other people, and others choose to steal your identity on purpose. In the popular Brad Paisley Song “Online” he sings “I’m so much cooler online” well… people looking to commit identity theft also think you look cooler online.
In recent years criminals have found a way to commit the ultimate Look-Alike. Synthetic identity theft is combining real and fake information to create a new identity. This makes the fraud harder to track as the information is not all from one person. When they combine your social security number with a different name to open a new credit card it can go undetected by financial institutions for months if not years. Synthetic identity fraud is the fastest-growing financial crime in the United States according to The Federal Reserve. Protect yourself by checking your credit report for unauthorized lines of credit, verifying who you give your personal information to before giving it out, and reporting suspicious activity as soon as you find it. Keeping your information safe is the best way to proactively ensure you are always able to order those concert tickets. That way you can hear about identity theft instead of becoming a victim to it.
To report identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website here: https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/
To read more about synthetic identity fraud and how to mitigate it here: https://fedpaymentsimprovement.org/strategic-initiatives/payments-security/synthetic-identity-payments-fraud/
To read more about child identity theft here: https://www.cylab.cmu.edu/_files/pdfs/reports/2011/child-identity-theft.pdf
 The Federal Reserve.
“Synthetic Identity Fraud in the U.S. Payment System,”
Page 2. Accessed Aug. 25, 2021.