What is identity theft?

It's when someone obtains essential information about you—such as your social security number, date of birth, and mother's maiden name—and uses it to open credit card accounts, loans and even mortgages in your name.

Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else's identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person's name, and perhaps to the other person's disadvantage or loss. The person whose identity has been assumed may suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another's personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

There are various types of identity thefts such as Identity cloning and concealment ,Criminal identity theft, Synthetic identity theft, Medical identity theft, Child identity theft & Financial identity theft.

Hong Kong has passed the law Under HK Laws. Chap 210 Theft Ordinance, sec. 16A Fraud (1) If any person by any deceit (whether or not the deceit is the sole or main inducement) and with intent to defraud induces another person to commit an act or make an omission, which results either-(a) in benefit to any person other than the second-mentioned person; or (b) in prejudice or a substantial risk of prejudice to any person other than the first-mentioned person, the first-mentioned person commits the offense of fraud and is liable on conviction upon indictment to imprisonment for 14 years. 
Under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, it established the post of Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and mandate how much personal information one can collect, retain and destruction. This legislation also provides citizens the right to request information held by businesses and government to the extent provided by this law.

How to protect yourself

  • Make your User ID and Password as secure as possible — Create a password that only you would know. See our Password Tips.
  • Change your Password — Remember to change your password every 60-90 days from your Account Management page.
  • Don't send sensitive information via e-mail — Never e–mail your password, account number, social security number or other sensitive information to anyone. When communicating with Atw, use our secure online Message Center.
  • Never leave your computer unattended — Complete your financial  tasks and end your web sessions by always signing off.
  • Be careful how much personal information you post online — When visiting social networks, remember that sharing information like your birth date, phone number, e-mail address, place and photos can put your identity at risk.
  • Never write down PINs and passwords — Memorize them instead.

How to spot identity theft : Identity thieves can strike even if you've been very careful with your personal information. Some hints of identity theft may include:

  • Failing to receive bills or other mail.
  • Receiving cards or billing statements on accounts for which you did not apply.
  • Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn't buy

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