Identity Theft – A Type of Cybercrime

by  Adv. Rupa K.N  




3 mins


Identity theft


A crime involving a computer and a network is referred to as cybercrime. Cybercrime is when a computer is used as a tool to perform crimes, including fraud, Identity theft, or invasion of privacy. Here we are going to discuss Identity theft briefly.

Meaning of Identity theft

Passwords, ID numbers, and credit card numbers are among the types of personal information that identity thieves frequently get and exploit illegally in the name of the victim. This private information may be utilized for many illicit activities, such as loan applications, online shopping, and gaining access to the personal and financial information of victims.

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Types of Identity theft

Some Types of Intellectual Property-

  • Driver Licence ID Identity theft

The most frequent type of ID theft is stolen driver’s license information. Name, address, date of birth, and a State driver’s identity number are all included in a person’s driver’s license information. The criminals use this information to apply for loans or credit cards, try to create bank accounts to get checking accounts, or acquire anything valuable in the owner’s name, including automobiles, homes, trucks, technological equipment, jewelry, and other expensive items.

  • Medical Identity theft

In this theft, the victim’s health-related information is acquired, a fictitious need for medical services is then manufactured with fictitious bills, and the victim’s account is then used to pay for those services.

  • Criminal Identity theft

When the criminal or the thief supports his position with the fraudulent documents of the victim, such as an ID or other verification documents, and his bluff is successful, the victim is held accountable and must suffer the loss.

  • Financial Identity theft

In this, a financial gain is made using the credentials that were stolen. The victim is only discovered after a meticulous review of his balances because this is done extremely slowly.

  • Synthetic Identity theft 

Synthetic Identity theft is a sort of fraud in which a criminal creates a new identity to open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent transactions by faking and using actual (often stolen) information. 

  • Senior Identity theft

Identity thieves frequently target seniors over 60. Their personal information is collected when they get material that appears to be real, and that is why they share their personal information.

Ways of Identity theft

  • Through a fake call– An example of this theft is when a thief calls a firm pretending to be an employee and requests financial information. They pose as real workers and request personal information in exchange for some tasty rewards.
  • Email theft– Mail Theft is a method of obtaining transactional data and payment card details from an open mailbox.
  • Phishing– Phishing is a practice in which a person receives emails that appear to be from banks but really contain malware. The thieves map the victim’s information when they receive a response from the mail. 
  • Internet– The globe uses the internet extensively because attackers are skilled at tricking people into connecting to their controlled public networks through the internet while simultaneously downloading spyware.
  • CVV– Your debit cards’ backs have a number called the Card Verification Value. Although this number is frequently requested by attackers posing as bank representatives, it is used to increase transaction security.

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Protection from Identity theft

  • If you’re going to utilize your personal information online, make sure to only do so via a secure connection, preferably a cellular data plan or a network at your place of business or residence.
  • Use a dependable, multi-layered, current security solution to shield your laptop, smartphone, and tablet against harmful software and attackers.
  • Regularly check your credit reports and online banking account for any unusual behavior. This might assist you in discovering an assault before it seriously harms your reputation or income. Establish restrictions for your transactions as well to avoid any financial abuse.
  • Make careful to dispose of any physical papers containing personal information safely, such as by shredding them or making them impossible to retrieve. Your electrical gadgets follow a similar logic: Make sure you have erased all the sensitive data from old cellphones, tablets, and computers before selling or discarding them.
  • Make secure passwords that are lengthy, challenging to guess, and distinctive. You can use passphrases instead of passwords since they are simpler to remember, or you can use a password manager to store all of your passwords safely.

Punishment for Identity theft in India

Since Identity theft involves both theft and forgery, the Information Technology Act invokes the forgery sections of the Indian Penal Code. 

Forgery is governed by the following Sections of the Indian Penal Code:

  • If someone fraudulently cancels or modifies a document in any way, according to Section 464
  • According to Section 465, a person who undertakes a fraudulent act faces a penalty of up to two years in prison, a fine, or a combination of the two.
  • According to Section 468, a person who engages in fraud and uses a fake document for fraudulent purposes faces a maximum term of seven years in prison and a fine.
  • A person who commits forgery and uses the fabricated document to damage someone else’s reputation is subject to a term of up to three years in prison and a fine under Section 469.
  • According to Section 471, someone who forges a document with the goal of presenting it as authentic faces punishment.
  • In accordance with Section 474, anybody found in possession of a forged document that is aware that it is fake and intends to use it as a legitimate document faces a maximum punishment of seven years in prison and a fine.

Forgery is governed by the following Sections of the Information Technology Act:

  • According to Section 43, if a person destroys a computer without the owner’s consent, they are responsible for compensating the owner.
  • In accordance with Section 66, anybody found guilty of forgery faces a minimum sentence of one year in jail, a fine of up to five lakh rupees, or both.
  • According to Section 66B, anybody found guilty of stealing a computer resource faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail, a maximum fine of one lakh rupees, or both.
  • In violation of Section 66C, a person who falsely uses another person’s identification faces up to three years in jail and a fine of one lakh rupees.
  • According to Section 66D, if someone impersonates another person using a computer resource, they might face up to three years in jail and a fine of one lakh rupees.

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The increase in Identity theft is a real concern now as every other person is a victim of it. Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code give us the right to sue the person who commits Identity theft, and there are ways also which can be followed normally protect ourselves from the same. 

Identity theft is a common growing concern as everything is online now. There are ways to avoid Identity theft. To know about the same, get online legal advice.

Adv. Rupa K.N

Adv. Rupa K.N


5 | 277+ User Reviews

Advocate Rupa K.N, with over 24 years of independent practice, specialises in providing legal expertise, advice and guidance to a broad range of customers. Having been practising law independently for several years after doing her B.A. LLB from Bangalore University and PGDM from the National Institute of Personnel Management.

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