Identity Theft – The Quiet Crime

Identity theft has exploded in recent years into a type of crime epidemic. According to the united states department of justice, identity theft has officially surpassed drug trafficking as the number one crime in america.

Identity thieves do not need to break into your home or vehicle. They do not need to reside in the same state or country as you do. Many of the identity thieves who have been caught have been technology savvy teenagers using their home computers. Some of the most profitable thieves have ties to organized crime group located outside of the united states. They easily have a global reach.

Sophisticated identity theft rings have been formed because thieves and con artists have found the crime to be extremely easy and highly lucrative. An identity thief or identity thief ring can easily steal information of several victims at once. They do this without a gun, and with minimal risk.

You can hardly open a newspaper without finding a new story about such rings, often cleverly disguised as a janitorial company or some other routine service. Most consumers do not give a second glance at these types of companies. They recruit low paid employees to steal sensitive consumer information from the workplace.

Five to ten dollars per name and social security number can quickly add up to a very lucrative source of income, especially if the employee has access to a large database. A CD-Rom or small USB drive can hold a large amount of information and is easy to conceal.

Because the crimes often involve technology, there are many opportunities for the thief to hide or conceal his/her activity. Identity theft has become high tech. During a recent united states senate subcommittee hearing, senators were told how easy it is to get a fake driver’s license, social security card, or birth certificate from the internet. They were told that nearly thirty percent (30%) of all fake identification documents now come from the internet.

Law officials say that identity theft is easy, and that an identity can be stolen with a computer in an hour. All that is required are snippets of information. With the growing demand for stolen data, there is a vast virtual black market on the web where individuals buy and sell stolen credit cards and social security numbers.

There are data brokers that have collected information about individuals for decades. They use public records as a source of information. Data brokers are willing to sell even your most sensitive information to paying customers, and some of them are crooks.

Identity theft is a crime that cannot be completely prevented, regardless of how cautious you are. This is obvious because of the hundreds of reported serious data breaches. These breaches are at major financial institutions, corporations, universities and retailers. Breaches have also come from government agencies such as, state division of motor vehicles (dmv), internal revenue service, social security administration, veterans administration, and the military.

As a consumer today, our personal information is readily accessible and available from countless sources, and is contained within thousands of databases. Some of these databases are within our control, but most of them are beyond our control. Thieves employ new tricks and strategies to steal the information of consumers, wherever and however it may be available, for their own personal gain.

For any consumer who hopes to protect himself/herself from becoming a victim, it is imperative that you become educated, vigilant, proactive, and an effective personal risk manager. To find out how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, visit http://www.Margiewrobinson.Com.