One of the worst feelings you’ll get in life is the sense of panic after realizing that your ID or driver’s license is not in your wallet or bag. You might have left it somewhere or been a victim of pickpocketing.
Losing your ID or driver’s license can result in dire consequences. Aside from dealing with the grueling process of getting a replacement, you may also face identity theft.
In this article, we’ll go through what others can do with your ID. We’ve also listed what you need to do if your ID or driver’s license is stolen.
So stick with us until the end as we tell you the worst possible thing someone using your ID or driver’s license can do.
What can scammers do with your ID or Driver’s License?
You may be wondering, why are scammers after your driver’s license?
Your ID and driver’s license contains personally identifiable information (PII), which scammers can use to exploit and steal. When someone has your ID, they will have access to the following details:
- Full name
- Driver’s license number
- Social security number (in some states)
- Date of birth
Any combination of these details will help them get access to your other personal information, which they can use for malicious purposes.
Listed below are the most common things that scammers will do once they have your ID or driver’s license.
Commit identity theft
Scammers can use the details of your ID or driver’s license to commit identity theft. It’s a good starting point to gather all of your other personal information and use them to steal your identity.
All they need is your name, address, and birth date. Once they have these details, they can use them to retrieve your social security number, home phone number, credit card number, and even your health insurance records.
Sell your ID on the dark web
When scammers take your ID, they don’t necessarily want to use it for themselves. In some cases, they will sell it on the dark web for fast cash.
IDs and driver’s licenses may cost as low as $20 on the dark web.
Your driver’s license, for instance, is one of the many things that people on the dark web are looking for.
They can use it in place of their licenses, which may have been suspended or revoked.
Criminals are also on the lookout for driver’s licenses that they can use. They can alter the photo on the ID and assume your personal information to evade the authorities.
Create a fake driver’s license
If you lost your ID or driver’s license, the person who has it could use the information to obtain a driver’s license illegally.
People who are not eligible to get a real license, undocumented aliens, or are prohibited from driving, may resort to driver’s license fraud to get what they want.
Create fake IDs and commit criminal identity theft
Scammers can also use the information in your driver’s license to create a fake ID. For instance, a criminal will have a record, so they cannot use their own IDs for any kind of transaction.
But if they create a fake ID using the details they got from your driver’s license, they’ll be able to evade the authorities because no warrant of arrest will appear when they run a background check on you.
Also, if traffic enforcers stop them for a violation, the charges will be filed under your name because they’re using your information.
You’ll be surprised when you find out that you have to pay for traffic tickets that you didn’t know about.
Perform synthetic identity fraud
Scammers may also create a synthetic identity using your stolen driver’s license.
They will use your information and combine it with fake personal details to create a new identity. Then, they can open fraudulent accounts and engage in fraudulent transactions.
Synthetic identity fraud can go months to years before it can be detected because there’s no victim that can be identified clearly. Fraudsters can even use multiple fake identities simultaneously.
Commit change-of-address fraud
With all the information on your ID and Driver’s License, scammers may also use that information to request a change of address for all of your mail.
If successful, they will have access to your checks, credit card statements, bank statements, and even your IRS tax return.
They can gather all the information from your mail to commit bank fraud. They may also use your personal details to ask your bank to issue a new credit card, change your passwords, or even give them a new credit line under your name.
But do you know what’s the scariest thing about these?
All these things can happen without your knowledge. It may take a while before you realize that someone has stolen your identity and used it to commit fraud, crimes, and more.
By then, the damage had been done. You could have a warrant against you, have accumulated thousands of dollars in debt, and have multiple crimes committed under your name.
It will be a nightmare to try to solve the problems, just like what happened to Jessica Roy in this LA Times story.
Her wallet was stolen at a bar, and a series of identity theft consequences followed.
What should you do if someone steals your ID or driver’s license to commit identity theft?
A stolen ID or driver’s license could cause many problems on your end, so you need to act fast once you’ve realized that you’ve lost it.
Here’s what you need to do immediately if you’re lost your ID:
Report to the DMV
You should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in your area and tell them that your driver’s license has been stolen.
This will help minimize the risk of scammers using your stolen license to avoid a warrant of arrest or get out of paying for traffic violations.
You can ask the DMV to place a verified ID flag on your card, so the local police will be informed that your driver’s license was stolen.
Report to your local police
You must also report to your local police and file a report about your stolen ID.
This will help you later on if you need to file a dispute about a violation made by the person who stole your ID and used it to commit a crime or violation using your name.
Run a background check
You can get a background check on yourself, so you’ll know if someone has committed a crime or has an outstanding warrant of arrest using your identity.
It will allow you to clear things up before you get hit by hefty penalties and punishment for crimes or violations that you didn’t commit.
Check your credit report
It’s important to contact your credit card companies or request a credit report.
This way, you can check if someone has been applying for new loans, making purchases, or engaging in other financial transactions without your approval.
You should also ask one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your account.
This way, lenders and other financial institutions need to verify the person’s identity if they try to open a new credit line using your name.
You can ask for your free annual credit report from https://www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If you’ve already requested a copy for the year, you might be asked to pay a fee for additional reports.
Request a credit freeze
You can get in touch with the credit bureaus and request a credit freeze. Once this is set in place, lenders can’t access your credit report.
Scammers won’t be able to open a new account under your name because your credit files have been locked.
Request your official driving record
You must remember to ask for a copy of your driving record so you can check if there were tickets that were issued and other outstanding violations that you have under your name.
You can visit your local DMV in person or call their hotline.
Secure your online accounts
Scammers can use the information from your ID to access your online account, including social media. They can steal your money and scam your friends.
So, you must change your passwords to stronger codes and set in place two-factor authentication.
You may also warn your friends to watch out for frauds pretending to be you.
Minimize the risks of stolen IDs
Losing your ID or driver’s license is like handing over the key to your personal information to someone else. When this happens, you may face lasting consequences.
If you lost your ID or driver’s license, do your best to minimize the damage that scammers can do using your personal information.
You must contact your local authorities and report that your ID or driver’s license was stolen.
It can also help to freeze your credit so scammers can’t open a new line of credit using your name. You can lift the credit freeze once you’ve sorted things out.
Always take the necessary steps to protect your personal information. You must keep your driver’s license, ID, credit card, and social security number safe.
Always be vigilant, especially when it comes to identity theft. The faster you can identify, report, and stop scammers from stealing your identity, the less damage they will cause to your life.