Identity theft

identity theft

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Description or Situation

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Overview

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The concept of of having our identity used by another is of little consequence to those who live outside of modern technology in current times. Impostures have been doing malicious activity under the name of someone else for centuries. Perhaps it was easier to track those vermin's back in the day but not so much during these technical ages. As we marvel in our own magnificence embracing all the benefits of modern technology we more often than not fail to look behind us for residual wakes of unfortunate circumstances. With advancements comes new opportunities, ... some of which are open for exploitation by malicious and criminally minded individuals. It is inherent for preventative or counter measures to lag behind such advancements which leaves a window of opportunity for those with malicious intent. Now days the description of identity theft is related to the effects associated with and subject to having credit card accounts stolen and used for by an adaptive thief.  Identity theft includes elements associated with the UN-authorized use and exploitation of credit and or purchasing power, licenses and social security numbers, signatures etc. The results of having our identity stolen can be catastrophic often changing lives for long term periods of time. Effects associated with identity theft can escalate cascading or spiraling out of control very quickly. Not all creditors are willing to constructively work with victims to rectify issues as such. Since much of how we are measured these days is directly reflective of our credit standings many opportunities and or advancements in life may come to a complete halt. Identity theft is a true crime of modern technologies and challenging to prevent.

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The following is intended to aid those seeking information associated with the effects and consequences of "identity theft".

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What is identity theft?

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Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else's identity, ... typically for malicious reasons of intent, ... as a method to gain a financial advantage or to obtain credit and other benefits. The theft of someones personal identity most often results in a cascade of events which can have devastating financial and emotion consequences, .. some of which can take years for recovery depending on the nature of the crime. This is most often a vulnerable situation which presents a disadvantage or loss in some way. Victims of identity theft are often held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another persons identifying information such as their their name, drivers license or credit card numbers, without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes.  [Source]

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What are major causes for identity theft?

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Where is your wallet or purse at this very moment? Are your credit cards and ID kept inside of them? Are they in a safe place or a location which may present doubt as to the security for your identity? Should this even be a thought for concern?

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If you said yes to the latter, you are not alone. Unfortunately, when these everyday essentials are stolen or go missing, identity theft or fraud often follows. Our credit cards, driver’s license, and other personal information enable criminals to commit fraud or crimes, ... all in our name.  A study examining the claims made in 2011 by traveling’ customers insured against identity fraud shows that stolen or misplaced items are still a major cause of these crimes. Of the roughly two-thirds able to pinpoint the source of their identity theft, stolen wallets and pocketbooks topped the list.

Identity thieves are also known to acquire valuable personal information in less obvious ways such as from sorting through trash for bank statements in the aim of stealing pre-approved credit card applications sent through the mail. Courageous thieves have been known to steal directly out of vulnerable mail boxes despite the legal repercussions. [Legal] People are often not aware that someone is illegally using their credit or dipping into their bank account until it appears in their monthly statement.

Various studies also revealed other common fraud sources. In the number two spot: a stolen or compromised driver’s license, Social Security card, or other form of personal identification. In some instances, thieves accessed this critical information by copying identifying numbers from an employee badge, student ID, or Medicare card, all of which carried the member’s Social Security number. Not surprisingly, burglaries rated third, followed by cyber-breaches (including Internet scams) and old-fashioned forgeries. According to a separate study released earlier this year by Javelin Strategy & Research, data breaches, which typically expose Social Security, debit, and credit card numbers, are on the rise nationally.   [Source]

As we advance in technology we also create new opportunities for identity theft to occur. Some of the latest methods of identity theft incorporate the use of WiFi devices and micro card reading technology disguised as unexpected items and cloaked behind a standard reader. New remote technologies intended for the use of turning on devices or starting a vehicle with our cell phone can also be hacked by thieves. Smart homes are just as vulnerable. Anywhere we have technology there will always be the criminally minded trying to hack or break the codes to gain access.

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Effects of identity theft

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The high cost of identity theft

Identity theft is not rare. Figures released in 2011 by the U.S. Justice Department show that about 8.6 million households experienced some form of identity theft in 2010. Direct costs to households exceeded $13.3 billion dollars in damages.

Compromised Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, or other confidential data can help criminals acquire new debit and credit card accounts in your name as well as loans, medical services, and tax refunds. Though the financial services industry has imposed tougher safeguards against identity theft the vulnerabilities continue to become available through social media sites. A trove of personal information such as birth dates, phone numbers and so on are shared frequently on most all social media sites which has provided new opportunities for criminals. When payments for fraudulent accounts go unpaid our credit scores can suffer which can inevitably have negative effects on our lives. This can result in considerable time and money to restore it.

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Who is susceptible to identity theft?

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Most anyone living and relying on the conveniences of a modern lifestyle. Societal communities and nations who are accustomed to paper trails, credit card, social security numbers, filings and other data with traceable and specific information as such are subject to malicious identity theft. Now days, ... most anything that can be used to connect and approve a person to financial and economic resources can also be used as a vehicle for fraud. For the most part, ... this means just about anyone living on the grid. Increased potentials of vulnerability exists for those who are topically careless or unsuspecting.

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Accounts of identity theft

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Ultimate Identity Theft

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Identity Theft Victim's Nightmare

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⇓ MORE ⇓

Identity theft stories at work and unexpected

Identity Theft - Victim talks

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Identity Theft - Facts and Figures

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The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) collects information about consumer fraud and identity theft from the FTC and numerous other organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Attorney Generals Offices, and various State and local law enforcement agencies. According to FTC's, Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January - December 2013 (2014), the CSN received over 2 million consumer complaints in 2013. Findings from an analysis of those complaints include:

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  Of the complaints received in 2013, identity theft complaints accounted for 14% of all complaints.

  Government documents/benefits fraud (34%) was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by credit card fraud (17%), phone or utilities fraud (14%), and bank fraud (8%). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were employment-related fraud (6%) and loan fraud (4%).

  Forty-one percent of identity theft complainants reported whether they contacted law enforcement. Of those victims, 74% notified a police department and 61% indicated a report was taken.

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In 2004, questions were added to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to provide ongoing estimates of identity theft victimization. For the purposes of the survey, identity theft was defined to include the following three behaviors:

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  Unauthorized use or attempted use of existing credit cards

  Unauthorized use or attempted use of other existing accounts such as checking accounts.

  Misuse of personal information to obtain new accounts or loans, or to commit other crimes.

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) bulletin, Victims of Identity Theft, 2014 (September 2015), presents findings on the prevalence and nature of identity theft from the 2014 Identity Theft Supplement to the NCVS. It details the number and percentage of persons age 16 or older who reported at least one incident of identity theft over the past year. Highlights include:

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  About 7% of persons age 16 or older were victims of identity theft in 2014.

  The majority of identity theft victims (86%) experienced the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information.

  The number of elderly victims of identity theft increased to 2.6 million in 2014.

  About 14% of identity theft victims experienced out-of-pocket losses of $1 or more. Of these victims, about half suffered losses of less than $100.

  Half of identity theft victims who were able to resolve any associated problems did so in a day or less.

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report, Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2005-2010 (2011), provides statistical information based on experiences of all household members age 12 or older as reported by the head of household. Highlights from Identity Theft Reported by Households, 2005-2010 include the following:

  In 2010, 7.0% of households in the United States, or about 8.6 million households, had at least one member age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft victimization.

  Among households in which at least one member experienced one or more types of identity theft, 64.1% experienced the misuse or attempted misuse of an existing credit card account in 2010.

  From 2005 to 2010, the percentage of all households with one or more type of identity theft that suffered no direct financial loss increased from 18.5% to 23.7%.

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Find  "solutions to Identity theft"  

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References

http://blog.equifax.com/credit/top-causes-of-identity-theft-not-the-internet-yet/

https://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/identity_theft/facts.html

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identity theft