Identity Theft


Identity Theft
Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a place where it was safe to leave the doors unlocked, to walk down the street alone, or to trust everyone that enters your house? These days personal information can be found in a person’s car, purse, or home; and can even be stolen by the least expected person. While there are preventative measures that can be taken, identity theft is a serious crime that is conducted in many ways and has caused large amounts of damage for many individuals.
Many people welcome family and friends into their home and never consider the possibility that they would steal person information. The truth is, the closer someone is to their victim, the easier it is to steal their information; with less risk of being caught. Co-workers, caretakers, and even family members have been known to carry out such crimes. While it does happen, a small percentage of identity thefts are targeted for pure revenge rather than money or personal gain. The illustration below shows an estimate of identity theft victims per state based on the 2006 United States Census population. (CCCSSA, 2005)
Identity Theft Victims by State (Per 100,000 Population) |   |
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Less Than 60 60 - 80More Than 80                                                                                           | |
Research indicates that there are two dominant motives for identity theft: financial gain and to conceal one’s true identity. Criminals can make long-term financial commitments by taking out mortgages or buying cars; using the victim’s credit history. Criminals can also establish dozens of charge accounts, use them, and then abandon them without paying; or run up large amounts of debts, then file for bankruptcy. Thieves who steal credit cards or checking account numbers are most likely going to make fraudulent charges against the account. It is not uncommon for criminals to obtain phone or wireless services in someone else’s name,...