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Synthetic identity theft primarily harms the creditors who unwittingly grant the fraudsters credit.
Individual victims can be affected if their names become confused with the synthetic identities, or if negative information in their subfiles impacts their credit ratings.
The report also warned that "the full extent is unknown".
A later unpublished study by Carnegie Mellon University noted that "Most often, the causes of identity theft is not known", but reported that someone else concluded that "the probability of becoming a victim to identity theft as a result of a data breach is ... More recently, an association of consumer data companies noted that one of the largest data breaches ever, accounting for over four million records, resulted in only about 1,800 instances of identity theft, according to the company whose systems were breached.
There are cases of identity cloning to attack payment systems, including online credit card processing and medical insurance.
In this situation, the identity thief impersonates someone else in order to conceal their own true identity.
Obtaining an expungement of court records may also be required.
Thus it is possible that a future background check will return the incorrect criminal records.
There's an app for that." This statement summed up the ease with which these hackers are accessing all kinds of information online.
The new program for infecting users' computers is called Zeus; and the program is so hacker friendly that even an inexperienced hacker can operate it.
Mostly, posers create believable stories involving friends of the real person they are imitating.
Unlike identity theft used to obtain credit which usually comes to light when the debts mount, concealment may continue indefinitely without being detected, particularly if the identity thief is able to obtain false credentials in order to pass various authentication tests in everyday life.