Identity Theft Crimes in South Africa


Types of Identity Theft

1Identity Cloning and Concealment
In this situation the Identity Thief impersonates someone else in order to conceal their own true identity. This is predominately utilized by identity thieves in order to remain anonymous or to duplicate someone else’s identity.
2Criminal Identity Theft
When a criminal fraudulently identifies himself to the police as another individual at the point of arrest, it is sometimes referred to as criminal identity theft. This can lead to numerous ramifications such as receiving court summonses, traffic violations and/or other registered infringements as a result of the criminal identity theft. The main issue with regards to this type of identity theft is how to manage the ramifications going forward and clear the victim’s name.
3Credit Related Identity Theft
Credit related identity theft is the most common form of identity theft. Thieves utilize the identity of a person in order to access credit or obtain more credit from financial institutions. They will either target existing credit providers to that individual or they will open up new credit facilities at banks, retail stores and other facilities in that person’s name.
4Medical Identity Theft
Medical Identity theft occurs when someone uses a person’s name and sometimes other elements of their identities such as insurance information without the person’s knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or other related services or goods. Although this does not seem to be a common risk in South Africa it is believed to be on the increase.
5Mail Identity Theft
This is extremely common in South Africa and probably falls within the main definition of identity theft. Thieves gain access to private mail via various means such as theft from post boxes, theft from rubbish bins and from internal mail theft. They then utilize the information to gain access to credit or other related financial instruments for their own benefit.
6Social Networking
It is now becoming quite common that people create false identities through social networking sites for various purposes. Personal information can be gained via raking on someone else’s identity. Even online dating sites are affected.