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Resources > Education Center > Can Someone Steal Your Identity With Your ID? Everything You Need To Know

Can Someone Steal Your Identity With Your ID? Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve ever lost your driver’s license or government-issued ID, you may have wondered—can someone steal your identity with your ID? Whether it’s a lost wallet or a photograph containing personal information carelessly shared on social media, the risks associated with exposing our identification documents have never been more palpable.

In this guide, we’ll explore how identity thieves can exploit the information from your ID and what steps you can take to safeguard your personal details.

What Information Is on Your ID That Thieves Can Use?

Unfortunately, if they get ahold of your documents, identity thieves can use the information on your driver’s license or state ID against you. These sensitive details include:

  • Full name—Your complete name as it appears on your ID can be valuable for identity thieves, especially when combined with other information
  • Date of birth—This information is often used to verify identity and can be used maliciously in the wrong hands
  • Photograph—A photo of your face on an ID can be used to create fake IDs or for biometric-based fraud, which is a malicious use of unique behavioral or physical characteristics such as facial patterns
  • Signature—Your signature as it appears on your ID can be forged on important documents such as contracts, bank drafts, property deeds, and loan applications
  • Address—The address listed on your ID is a valuable piece of information for identity thieves, as it can be used for various types of fraud, including opening accounts in your name
  • ID number—Depending on the type of ID, there may be a unique identification number associated with it. Thieves can use this for fraudulent activities
  • Physical description—Information about your height, weight, hair color, and eye color can be exploited when combined with other details. For example, an identity could use these details to enhance the credibility of a fake ID

What Can Someone Do With Your ID Card?

In case your private documents have been compromised, you may be wondering—what can someone do with a stolen ID? With just your ID, scammers can do a lot more damage than you might realize. Here are four common results:

  1. Selling your information on the dark web
  2. Committing mail fraud
  3. Using it to exploit your other data
  4. Creating a synthetic identity

Selling Your Information on the Dark Web

Personal information obtained from IDs is a valuable asset on the dark web and black market. ID thieves buy, sell, and trade people’s data to facilitate various fraud schemes—they can sell copies of your actual ID card (or just the details from it) on dark web markets for a profit.

Committing Mail Fraud

ID thieves may use your ID to open fraudulent mailing addresses to intercept your financial statements, bills, and other sensitive mail. They can then use the information in these documents to gain access to your financial accounts, draining your balances and maxing out your credit cards before you even notice something’s wrong. Unfortunately, victims often only notice this type of fraud when they receive debt collection calls or have their loan applications rejected due to tarnished credit histories.

Exploiting Other Information

While the information on your ID may not be sufficient to commit identity theft, it provides a basis for criminals to access and exploit your other data as well. Identity criminals can use these details to access an online database on the dark web, where they can find even more data to steal. This includes:

Synthetic Identity Creation

Scammers can combine your ID number or SSN with a different name and birthdate to create an entirely new fake identity. They can then build up credit and commit fraud under this new persona, and the crimes would get linked back to your records. It’s challenging for law enforcement to apprehend criminals who use synthetic identities because it’s difficult to distinguish genuine identities from fake ones.

Steps To Take if You Lose Your ID or Suspect Identity Theft

If your ID gets stolen, the personal information featured on it can give thieves a head start in orchestrating identity theft and committing fraudulent activities in your name. However, identity theft can often be prevented with these steps:

  • Monitor accounts and credit reports—As soon as you realize your ID is lost or stolen, check your financial statements and credit reports for signs of fraud, such as unauthorized charges or new accounts opened in your name. Report anything suspicious immediately
  • File a police report—File a police report about the lost or stolen ID. Get a copy of the report in case creditors or agencies need verification of the incident
  • Contact agencies issuing your ID—Notify agencies like the DMV, Social Security Administration, and passport office to report your ID as lost or stolen. Request replacement cards or documents and ask them to flag your file in case thieves try to use your stolen information
  • Monitor mailing and bills—Stay alert to any signs of mail fraud, such as missing bills or bank statements, to ensure thieves don’t access your personal information and intercept confidential mail
  • Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible identity theft—While a lost ID doesn’t always mean identity theft, it’s important to report it to the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov. The report can serve as evidence that you’ve been a victim of identity theft, and you shouldn’t be held responsible for any fraudulent activities

How To Safeguard Your Personal Information From Identity Thieves

While a standard ID alone may not provide enough for a thief to completely assume your identity, it gives them a good start. To protect your identity, you need to safeguard all your personal information, including your name, address, birth date, and SSN. Here are four steps you can take to shield your PII and reduce the risk of ID theft:

  1. Protect your personal documents
  2. Be cautious of phishing scams
  3. Use unique passwords
  4. Monitor accounts and statements regularly or sign up for identity monitoring

Protect Your Personal Documents

Physical documents containing sensitive personal information like financial records and mail pose a security risk if not properly secured. Identity thieves may target uncollected mail, dig through trash to find documents, and use discarded receipts to gather information. Here are a few precautions you can take:

  • Request a mail hold while away from home
  • Sign up for electronic bank statements instead of paper
  • Shred documents before throwing them out
  • Avoid leaving receipts behind when possible

Be Cautious of Phishing Scams

Never provide sensitive data like account numbers, passwords, or your SSN to unsolicited requests over the phone, email, or text. Identity thieves often send emails and create websites posing as your bank, credit card company, mortgage lender, or other financial institution to deceive you into entering your account information or revealing other personal data.

These emails may also prompt you to open an attachment, which can install harmful malware on your device. If you suspect that a link isn’t legitimate, avoid clicking on it.

Use Unique Passwords

Using strong passwords and varying them across different accounts is crucial for security. To prevent identity theft, you should create a unique password for each account that doesn’t contain personal information like your name or birthday.

You should also change your passwords anytime you suspect your accounts have been compromised. Since memorizing unique passwords for all accounts can be difficult, using a password manager can help you store your login credentials securely.

Monitor Accounts and Statements Regularly

Routinely check bank statements, credit card bills, and medical insurance claims for any unauthorized charges or activity and immediately report anything suspicious. Review credit reports annually to check for signs of fraud from the three major consumer credit bureaus:

  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. TransUnion

Check your child’s credit information regularly as well because children are common targets of ID theft but less likely to notice it. When it comes to children, ID theft can go undetected for years until they’re older and discover the damage. Since minors typically don’t have a credit history (because of the regulations imposed by the CARD Act of 2009), any financial activity on their credit reports can be a sign of potential identity theft.

To prevent damage, you can freeze their credit until they’re old enough to use it. It’s in your and your children’s best financial interest to sign up for a credit monitoring service like FreeKick to ensure your children’s financial foundations remain secure.

FreeKick—Parent-Sponsored Identity Monitoring and Credit Profile Building

Safeguarding your and your child’s private information doesn’t have to take time and effort. FreeKick—offered by Austin Capital Bank—combines a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured deposit account with convenient credit profile building and identity monitoring services. 

It helps parents jumpstart their children’s credit profiles and gives them a significant advantage in life while monitoring the identities of all family members. Every 30 seconds, a child’s identity is stolen—don’t let your child become a statistic. 

FreeKick’s ID Monitoring Services (Coming Soon)

FreeKick offers features designed to monitor, protect, and restore the identities of everyone in your family so you can rest assured your loved ones’ private information is secure. The service covers up to two adult parents and six children aged 0 to 25.

Identity protection features for adult children and parents include:

  • Credit profile monitoring
  • Social Security number monitoring
  • Dark Web monitoring for personal information
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Court records monitoring
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Free FICO® Score monthly
  • FICO® Score factors
  • Experian credit report monthly
  • Non-Credit (Payday) loan monitoring

For minor children, FreeKick offers the following services:

  • Credit profile monitoring 
  • Social Security number monitoring 
  • Dark Web monitoring for child’s personal information 
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance 
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

Get Started With FreeKick

In addition to the comprehensive monitoring features, FreeKick offers a way to establish and maintain your children’s credit profile, setting them up for a sound financial future. 

Credit-building services are available for children aged 14 to 25, and it’s easy to get started—all you have to do is open a FreeKick account and select Activate Credit Building once your child turns 14. When they become an adult, they’ll need to select Activate Credit Reporting because credit bureaus don’t allow this for minors. If they are already a legal adult, they don’t have to go through this extra step—FreeKick will report credit for them.

Once credit reporting is active (whether your child is an adult or has activated it), a credit account for $1,000 will be reported to all three major consumer credit bureaus. Besides the credit account, the account opening date, amount of credit, type of credit, and last 24 months of payment history will also be included, jumpstarting your child’s credit score. Good credit can save your child $200,000 over their lifetime. 

FreeKick Pricing

FreeKick includes plans for every budget—all plans offer identity protection services for two adult parents and six children, as well as credit building for up to six children aged 14 to 25. Take a look at the offered plans below:

DepositAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)

All FreeKick deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.Help your child build an impressive credit profile and protect the whole family from identity theft—sign up for FreeKick today.