Identity theft occurs when a fraudster obtains enough personal information from the victim (name, address, date of birth, etc.) to enable them to commit identity fraud – i.e. the use of stolen credentials to obtain goods or services by deception.
The stolen data could be used to create a new account in the victim’s name (e.g. a bank account), to take over an existing account held by the victim (e.g. a social network account) or to masquerade as the victim while carrying out criminal activities.