identity theft


: the illegal use of someone else's personal information (such as a Social Security number) especially in order to obtain money or credit

Examples of identity theft in a Sentence

How can we protect ourselves against identity theft?
Recent Examples on the Web In April, Ashley was arrested and charged with robbery, grand larceny, petit larceny and identity theft for four incidents from October 2021 to August 2022, including the May 2022 encounter, which was linked to the broader crime scheme, according to prosecutors. Matt Lavietes, NBC News, 20 Nov. 2023 And people being unable to detect synthetic faces, in general, may lead to fraud or identity theft. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 14 Nov. 2023 For most people, the idea of identity theft conjures images of anonymous, shady hackers. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 4 Nov. 2023 All-encompassing Encryption In a world where cyber threats are ever-evolving and data breaches are a constant concern, encrypted data acts as a shield against unauthorized access, identity theft, and other cybercrimes. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Nov. 2023 Use identity theft protection: Identity theft protection companies can monitor personal information like your home title, SSN, phone number and email address and alert you if it is being sold on the dark web, which RansomedVC claims to be doing. Kurt Knutsson, Fox News, 18 Oct. 2023 One remote swipe of my credit cards, debit cards, or mobile devices — from 30 feet away or more — and my trip can take a sharp detour into identity theft. Kristine Solomon, Travel + Leisure, 12 Sep. 2023 After a data breach, your info can be shared and sold on the dark Web or used for identity theft. Lauren Krouse, Good Housekeeping, 8 Sep. 2023 According to its website, Brigit has more than 4 million users and offers a range of services, including credit building, identity theft protection and expenditure tracking. Rivan Stinson, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'identity theft.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of identity theft was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near identity theft

Cite this Entry

“Identity theft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition

identity theft

see theft

More from Merriam-Webster on identity theft

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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