History of Identity Theft
Forget guns and violence. Being a criminal nowadays is a matter of getting
the right information without being found that and uses that to your advantage.
That is how the identity theft process work.
Identity theft is a crime wherein another person obtains and uses another
person's personal data for purposes of fraud or deception. But the main purpose
is for gaining money and finances to avail of goods or services.
Personal information being stolen borders from names, birth dates, social
security number and drivers license number. The more extreme and cruel
cases is when your financial identity like credit card, bank account and
phone-card numbers, are the ones being used.
It can be noted that your personal allows thieves to profit at your expense.
This is in contrast to your fingerprints that cannot be easily copied or
stolen. In many cases, victims are not even aware that their identity has
been stolen until maybe some months or years later.
The consequences of being an identity theft victim are also quite devastating.
You will be faced with the need to close bad credit accounts, trying to repair
them or open new ones.
In the process, you not only need time to get on with all these but also
enough money to try and pay up debits accumulated and new ones opened.
As long as you have not finished all the requirements and have not cleared
you name, you can be denied jobs, loans, education, housing, and transportation.
For worst case scenarios, you can even get arrested for the crime you did
not commit much less know about.
The trauma that can result from the experience is not easily forgotten too.
The experience of thousands of victims is that it often takes months, even
years, to recover.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, identity theft is the fastest
growing crime in the US alone. The fact that more and more people are reporting
cases of identity theft and how they have become victims can attest to conclusion
made by that department.
In the year 2002, 10 million people became victims of this crime. And an
estimated 27.3 million Americans have been reported to be victims of the
different forms of identity theft during the past 5 years.
Even financial and business institutions are not spared. Billions of dollars
worth of losses have also been noted which can be attributed to identity
Identity theft is the number two most reported crime to the federal government.
These numbers are enough to make you consider identity theft as a serious
crime that is getting more and more rampant everyday. Ever since this kind
of crime had been noted in the early 1970s, counteractions are being
done. But however extreme are measure are, there is really no getting through
the minds of these thieves.
There are basically two forms of identity theft.
The first and most common is when someone uses your credit card information.
Your information have been gotten if it was lost or stolen. It can also be
because of careless handling by an employee of a company where you used the
credit card to make a purchase.
The second and more dangerous form of identity theft is when someone steals
your identity, and opens up credit card accounts, or cell phone accounts
in your name. They can also use your social security number when getting
a job or your drivers license to get a duplicate copy.
The advancing technology of today does not help any. Communications tools
over the Internet are allowing criminals to think up new schemes and strategies.
Besides that, identity theft can be planned and executed more easily online.
All these thieves have to do is pay a fee to an information broker to get
an individual's Social Security number. Online databases also have in them
address information, while an individual's mother's maiden name can be found
in obituaries or other public documents. Obviously, bills are sent to a different
address so they will not get to you and you will start panicking.
Understanding and having enough knowledge about identity theft can be your
prevention measure. Be alert and aware so you will not be among those who
have suffered the consequences of this crime.