Synthetic Identity Theft Law and Legal Definition

Synthetic identity theft refers to an identity theft whereby a thief, instead of stealing an actual person's identity, creates a fictional identity by taking pieces of information from a number of people. In synthetic identity theft, the thief usually starts with one victim's Social Security number and then composes a fictional identity associated with that number.

The following is an example of a case law on synthetic identity theft:

An important subset of new account fraud is synthetic identity theft. While common new account fraud involves use of the victim's true name, in the case of synthetic identity theft, an impostor uses the victim's Social Security number with a fake name, thus creating a new, synthetic identity. A synthetic identity simply has a thinner credit file, a characteristic consistent with a legitimate new customer who is just entering the credit market. [Bauer v. Colokathis (In re Colokathis), 417 B.R. 150 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2009)].