Identity Cloning

Identity cloning is a kind of identity theft in which an individual acquires enough private data about a user to convincingly identify as the user. This impersonation attack can be devastating. The attacker can use the user’s identity to buy a house, get a job, and essentially build a whole life for themselves.

The most common reason for identity clone attacks is the attacker wanting to lead a different life under the radar, away from prying eyes. Sometimes, they are hiding from the law — well, most times.

Note that identity cloning may not require a folder of your private data. The attacker could accomplish their task if they had access to your Social Security number. But this is not the common pattern. Regular identity cloning involves a good portion of information gathering—or rather, stealing.

Ways to detect identity cloning

  • You get regular alerts from your bank reporting fraud.
  • Your monthly credit card statements contain stuff you didn’t buy or authorise their purchase.
  • You start seeing significant fluctuation in your credit score without your input.
  • You start getting calls from random people regarding debts you know nothing about.
  • You may receive emails that contain forms or medical bills from firms you don’t know about.