Criminal Identity Theft
How Identity Theft is Committed
We expose ourselves to the risk of criminal identity theft almost every single day. We write checks at the
store, charge purchases by phone, and throw away our old bills and records in rubbish bins. Almost all of us share
too much personal information regularly and most of the time with complete strangers
Although few of us really think about it too often, who is really listening when we call to upgrade our
satellite television service or cellular telephone? And who is likely to dig through our trash in order to find a
credit card statement? We mistakenly believe that the odds of something like that happening are so incredibly slim,
that even if we are aware of our bad habits we do little or nothing to change them.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that there are people working at customer service desks who are willing to
keep a copy of your Visa or Mastercard number together with all of that personal information you just gave in order
to make a hotel reservation. There may be someone in your neighborhood who is willing to risk dirtying his or her
shirt in your garbage bin to grab your financial data.
As much as we hate to think about it, there are unscrupulous people in our midst who are more than prepared to
steal portions of your personal and financial identity in order to profit.
Criminal identity theft is a very serious matter and the impact of these transgressions is severe. Those who
have suffered from the crime often find themselves spending thousands of dollars and a great deal of time and
effort trying to repair problems related to identity theft.
Those consequences only represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Before one can even deal with the myriad of
problems that pop up in the wake of identity theft, the victim must suffer immediate damages. Job applications can
be denied, as can loan and financing applications. Some have even been wrongly arrested for crimes about which they
Consider these examples, outlined by official U.S. government sources:
In 1996 a woman who ordered her credit report online victimized Mari Frank, The woman proceeded to
purchase a new Ford Mustang and accrue as much as $50,000 in expenses in Ms. Frank’s name.
A 20-year old dental assistant from Maine was killed in 1999 by a stalker who bought her Social
Security number off the Internet, and then used it to locate her work address.
A young woman from Los Angeles had her Social Security number stolen and it was used to charge $50,000,
including a $32,000 truck, a $5,000 liposuction operation, and a yearlong residential lease.
Identity theft ruins lives. It creates a seemingly infinite number of short term problems that go on to have
massive implications that can linger for decades.
Even if you consider the risk of identity theft to be small, it is actually more likely than you could ever