Name Change And Identity Theft: Legal Safeguards And Tips

May 23, 2024

However, due to high relevancy and the shift towards a digital economy, personal identity can be considered an essential resource.

Unfortunately, this also means that identity theft is a calamity that has befallen society It is unfortunate that this is mostly becoming a regular norm in society. Identity thieves are bound to take advantage of anyone by changing their names with the following methods; Knowledge of understanding name change and its relation to identity theft, the laws and protection measures, and the preventative measures one can take will assist in the protection against identity theft. Consider a name change kit to organize all the steps and applications you’ll need for a smooth transition

Understanding the Risk

There could be several reasons behind a change of name and it is not a sin when it happens for a rightful cause like marriage or divorce or even personal preferences. However, the name-changing process might become a tool for identity thieves since they can take advantage of this situation to obtain the identity of a certain person for fraudulent actions. They can change their name which implies that they can facilitate a new name in opening bank accounts, applying for credit cards, or participating in any other unlawful activities in which the gang may be involved without being easily suspected.

How Identity Theft Occurs Through Name Change

  1. Synthetic Identity Theft: This can be done by mixing up facts within an individual’s life with entirely fictional facts. For instance, a thief may acquire a genuine social security card, and then alter the name as well as many other details to create a new identity.
  2. Account Takeover: Interlinked, identity theft helps the thief alter the name on an account and take ownership of an account.
  3. New Account Fraud: This may be advantageous to a thief who might open a new account with the new name of the victim unknown to him until the credit card fraud company sends a bill to the account.

Legal Safeguards

1. Rigorous Verification Processes

In the process of renaming, the change requires many procedures, some of the activities that confirm the legitimacy of the change. This typically includes:

  • Court Orders: It is a common practice in most jurisdictions to retain a legal name change to comply with the court order. The law changes the reasons for altering and directing the court to determine if the change was done with malice.
  • Background Checks: In some legal systems, people may be subjected to criminal records to determine if they could present a motive to alter the name.

2. Notification Requirements

After legally changing your name, it is crucial to notify all relevant institutions: To avoid having your new name denied in future documents, it is recommended to inform all the relevant authorities::

  • Social Security Administration (SSA): Send a notification message to update the name to reflect in the earnings if any.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): This includes cases such as changing the name that appears on the driver’s licenses and the vehicle registrations.
  • Financial Institutions: This will serve as a means of informing the rating agencies and other departments of the company that deal in the management of its finances.

3. Privacy Protections

Over the past few years, GDPR in Europe and CCPA in the United States have become the strong legal shields of consumer privacy. They involve limiting possible uses of your information, obligating corporations to protect your personal information, and granting you certain rights over it.

Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

1. Monitor Your Credit

Therefore, for you to be in a position to track any unlawful activities being conducted in your name, then you have to review the credit reports occasionally. Currently, there are three significant credit checking agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion; each of these companies must provide one free credit report to every consumer every year. Also, one must weigh the use of a credit monitoring service to enable one to notice changes or updations in the credit file.

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2. Secure Personal Information

For identification cards, you should safely store your documents like birth certificates, Social Security cards, and even passports. Do not bring along your ID card copies, birth certificates, or other documents that are not injury-related.

3. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Always protect your online accounts as you should set and use appropriate passwords for them. If you are struggling to compose a strong and unique password for your account, there is no need to worry since there are many tips available online that will assist in creating a password unique for each account that you have opened, however, as you already know, creating a unique and a very hard password is much easier than you think, just make sure that you use a password manager to make it easier for you to generate a password for your account besides.

4. Be Cautious with Personal Information

Be wary of sharing personal information, especially on social media. Identity thieves can gather data from your online profiles to create a synthetic identity.

5. Report Suspicious Activity

Check the notification about credit and finances if you think your identity has been stolen; contact the FTC and local police. From here they can advise on measures to take to minimize the risks.


Changing one’s name is a serious and important occasion that for most is a one way process, and for this reason it carries risks if undertaken inappropriately. As you prepare to go through this process, learning and applying the measures required by the law concerning identity protection will go along way in helping you to avoid any pitfalls. There are a lot of measures that have been put in place to help safeguard our identity, one can prevent identity theft by avoiding exposing personal details to the public by remaining informed hence protecting personal details from fraudsters.

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