Identity theft can happen when your personal information is stolen to open up new lines of credit. Identity thieves commonly use your name, address, social security number and mother's maiden name to create fake identities. Eventually, you will be held responsible for these accounts that you didn't know existed. The long-term damage to your credit history from identity theft can be more damaging than the short-term effects. Watch this Expert Real Estate Tips video on Identity Theft for more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft.