identity theft
n. The theft of a person’s financial information with the intention of using that data to commit fraud.

Example Citations:
As Americans engage in an increasing number of financial transactions, identity theft continues to increase. Trans Union, one of the three major credit rating agencies, told the Government Accounting Office that reports of identity theft increased from 35,000 in 1992 to 500,000 in 1997.
—Ann Perry, “Small-hearted thieves are after your good name,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, December 12, 1999

t can start with a telephone call from a credit collector, demanding to know why you haven’t made a payment on that Visa card issued by ABC Bank.

The problem is, you don’t have a credit card from ABC Bank.

You’ve just become a victim of identity theft, which is the unlawful use of a person’s identity to obtain credit, drain money from a victim’s bank account or obtain other things in a person’s name.
—Pamela Yip, “Identity crisis,” Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), December 11, 1999

Earliest Citation:
NEW YORK (AP) — Four Americans who suffered a theft of their identities were listed Tuesday as government witnesses at the Brooklyn spy trial of a Russian couple, who used their names.
—“Identity Theft Victims May Get Spy Trial Calls,” The Cumberland News (Cumberland, Maryland), September 30, 1964

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