identity theft


Definition of 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 Federal prosecutors brought an indictment against Kidd-Dunbar in January 2020 on three counts of wire fraud, three counts of bank fraud and two counts of identity theft. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Lorain County home-health aide sentenced to 61 months for stealing $217,000 from blind victim," 28 Apr. 2021 Willamette Week reported in February that the Oregon State Bar warned its members about possible identity theft after several lawyers had false unemployment claims submitted under their names. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Identity thieves using Oregon state employees’ names for fraudulent unemployment claims," 22 Apr. 2021 No evidence of a conspiracy between Gaetz and his Florida friend (who is himself already facing at least 33 charges related to fraud, stalking, and identity theft, and more) is even necessary. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "What Kind of Monster Is Matt Gaetz?," 8 Apr. 2021 Brenda Ann Gregory, 54, and Angel Alfonso Gutierrez, 55, were arrested in March and have been charged with five felonies, including grand theft, identity theft and money laundering. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chula Vista couple accused of real estate fraud; authorities seeking more possible victims," 7 Apr. 2021 Florida’s unemployment agency is investigating close to 50,000 cases of possible claims fraud, with many tied to possible identity theft against jobless workers seeking benefits. David Lyons,, "Florida flags nearly 50,000 cases of suspected unemployment claims fraud," 25 Feb. 2021 Colletti first gained investigators' attention in May 2019 when 10 instances of identity theft were found at the MGM Grand Casino Detroit between April 26, 2019, and May 27, 2019, totaling $98,840. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Harper Woods man wore prosthetic face masks in $100,000 casino fraud scheme," 7 Apr. 2021 DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said Jessica Kay Hosch, 33, of Rainsville, faces three counts of fraudulent use of a credit/debit card and three counts of identity theft. William Thornton |, al, "Alabama water system employee accused of stealing customer credit card numbers, making purchases," 6 Apr. 2021 Most major credit card providers and banks offer mobile apps that can make monitoring credit card spending, tracking payments and protecting accounts from identity theft much faster and more convenient. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, "This Week In Credit Card News: Some Valuable Card Perks; Beware Of Romance Fraud," 12 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'identity theft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of identity theft

1964, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for identity theft

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The first known use of identity theft was in 1964

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Statistics for identity theft

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Identity theft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for identity theft

identity theft


English Language Learners Definition of identity theft

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

identity theft

Legal Definition of identity theft

— see theft

More from Merriam-Webster on identity theft Encyclopedia article about identity theft

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