Financial Identity Theft Becoming More Widespread

I read a good article on identify theft from the Miami paper. The article discusses how the crime of identity theft is not only becoming much more prevalent, but is also becoming harder to detect. This is the case in Florida and throughout the country.

The following are some of the more interesting points made in the article. Only 1 out of every 700 people who commit identity theft is ever arrested. When you consider that identity theft is often a difficult charge for prosecutors to prove, the percentage of people who are actually convicted of identity theft is quite a bit lower than the 1 in 700 figure. Additionally, the effects of identity theft can be extremely onerous on a person. However, those effects are not always immediately apparent like with other crimes. The article noted that on average, a person victimized by identity theft does not realize he/she is a victim of identity theft until a year after the actual theft. One of the best ways to stay diligent and reduce this lag time is to check your credit reports at the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Transunion) at least once a quarter. Finally, the author of the article illustrates how easy it is for skilled hackers to gain access to other people’s information. However, most people and businesses fail to appreciate the risk of a compromised network and do not take adequate security measures. This only exacerbates the problem of more identity thefts and fewer detections of identity thefts.

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