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Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, occurs when an individual's personally identifying information is used without permission and/or knowledge by someone else (often a stranger). It is a form of impersonation that enables someone to commit fraud and generally results in financial harm to the individual and financial gain to the impersonator. During the past decade, the increasing amount of personal information available on the Internet has made this a growing concern.

A person's identity refers to that information that distinguishes him or her from other people. In some ways, it encompasses a person's accomplishments and is closely connected to reputation. A person's identity relates to information that exists, whereas a person's reputation reflects opinions about a person's identity.

More specifically, particularly in the context ...

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