All identity theft is illegal, YES, but what do they mean when they say Employee Criminal identity theft?  Unfortunately, it is not just some fictional story played out in the movie “Identity Thief”.  If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  Jason Bateman has his identity stolen by Melissa McCarthy and as you can imagine the comedic duo battle throughout the movie…very funny!

What is employee criminal identity theft?

Employee Criminal identity Theft typically occurs when an identity thief gives an employee’s name or personal information during an arrest or investigation.  They may use a stolen driver’s license or other identification in the employee’s name or simply use the name and information of a friend or relative without showing any identification.  The employee’s data is then added to the state’s criminal database and potentially the national database.

Most victims don’t even know about it until much later until something else happens.   Most will find out when a job or loan applications involves a background check, or they get pulled over and find out they have a bench warrant.

Unfortunately it is difficult to prevent and difficult to fix.  As an employee, it is their responsibility to clear their name. Employees will need to with law enforcement and court personnel to correct the false reporting on the local, state, and federal level.

Warning signs

An employee may be a victim of criminal identity theft if:

  • They get arrested and don’t know why
  • Are denied for promotion after background check
  • Get fired after background check
  • They  don’t get hired after background check
  • Receive a ticket for a car or property they don’t own or in unfamiliar places

What if it happens to you as an employee?

Here are three tips to follow if it happens to you:

  1. Talk to law enforcement.  If any of the above warning signs apply to you it is time to contact the authorities.  You should ask your employer or loan officer about the areas of concern and where they occurred.  You can file a report about the incident and offer any personal information that would help clear your name/identity in comparison to the criminal.
  2. Keep Documentation.  Once you have proven your innocence, ask law enforcement to provide you with a “certificate of release”.  Keep this letter with you in the event you need it in the future.  Not all databases are updated immediately and this will help to clear you in any unfortunate future situations.
  3. States Attorney General.  Contact your state and determine if they offer special help for identity theft.  This can be useful if your state has addressed identity theft in the court system.

Although criminal identity theft is less prevalent than other types of fraud it is certainly something we all need to be aware of.  So next time someone asks, What is Criminal Identity Theft, we can help explain.

Lower employee risk of Criminal Identity Theft with our defend-id services – and get a dedicated recovery expert if your identity ever becomes compromised.  defend-id monitors criminal data records for employee reporting and will alert your employee as soon as it is detected.

Stay safe, click carefully and protect your data!


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