Identity Theft – Hard Facts

Identity theft can happen to anyone, and the scary thing is that this type of crime is growing every year, and as identity theft can be very difficult to trace it can be a lengthy and time consuming process trying to sort out the damage to your finances and good name if you do become a victim.

Millions of people around the world have their personal and financial details stolen and used for fraudulent activities every year, and the really worrying part of this is that these numbers just keep on growing. In fact identity fraud crime is officially one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Everyone should be aware of identity theft crimes and take steps to protect their own personal data against these fraudsters.

The Hard Facts

• 16% of all identity fraud crimes are carried out by somebody the victim knows such as friends, relatives or co-workers
• 11% of identity crimes occur through lost or stolen purses/wallets
• 34% of all credit card related identity crimes occur when thieves obtaining existing card information to run up fraudulent charges and steal the victims credit
• Only 15% of identity theft victims are alerted by their credit card company or bank before any fraudulent activity can take place, which means that 85% of all identity theft victims do not realise their identity has been stolen until it is too late, and the damage has already been done.

The Reasons

Many criminals justify their actions by claiming that identity theft is a ‘victimless crime’ as any charges that are run up on credit accounts will be reimbursed by the account provider in the event of fraudulent activity. How this is simply not true, as many victims can find it very difficult to prove that the theft occurred in the first place, and the account provider may be consider them liable for any fraudulent charges and debts.

There are also Federal capping laws for credit fraud, which may see victims only receiving reimbursement for part of the charges run up in their names. Criminals also do not take into account the financial, mental and emotional impact that these crimes can have on victims, leaving them with serious problems such as frozen accounts that they cannot access and difficulties applying for their own credit needs. Identity theft may also have even more serious ramifications on victims lives, which has caused many experts to parallel the effects of identity fraud on its victims with that of violent crimes.

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