Identity Theft

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Identity theft is a serious problem that has been happening for a very long period of time. In America there are over 9 million victims of identity theft that takes place every year. Research shows Nine out of ten American homeowners have concerns about becoming victims of identity theft. This is the most rapid growing type of fraud in the country, yet virtually two-thirds are hesitant whether their insurance policy is able to protect them financially if this crime were to occur. A vast proportion of 83 percent believe the government should seize action to help prevent identity theft. (WWW.SSA.GOV, 2009) [pic]

According to Federal Trade Commission statistics, identity theft has reached a fraction of 72 percent between 2001 and 2002, from 220,000 occurrences to 380,000. Even though 97 percent of the homeowners surveyed had heard of identity theft, and practically one in four knows someone who has been a victim, 61 percent are uncertain whether their homeowner's insurance policy would compensate them for expenses required in recuperating after this fraud has been convicted. Only 11 percent of the homeowners surveyed feel as though their policy protects them fully. "With the likelihood of identity theft increasing each year, these survey results suggest that more than 60 million homeowners could be at financial risk if they were to fall victim to this type of fraud, despite that increasing trend, only a small percentage of policies actually provide coverage for expenses incurred in recovering from identity theft." States Michelle Kenney, an underwriting executive who specializes in high-end policies (WWW.SSA.GOV, 2009). Identity theft comes in many forms. One type of identity theft is necrolarcency the unauthorized use of checking accounts or bogus credit cards. This is when someone has the unauthorized use of your name, social security number, or credit card number. Another type of identity theft is the unauthorized use of your social security number, birth certificate, and passport. Government document fraud may get a drivers license in your name with their picture, or use your social security number to receive government benefits. They can also file a fraudulent tax return with your personal information (Identity theft: what to do if it happens to you, 1996). Other things identity thefts are capable of are using your social security number to get a job, for medical care and services, or put your personal information down when they get arrested and if they don’t show up to the court date there will be a warrant out for your arrest issued in your name. These thieves misrepresent themselves as the victim. The theft may use your name and other personal information for many different reasons such as; acquire a credit card, establish a telephone account, and even rent an apartment. You may not even be aware this is taking place until you review your credit report and notice charges that you never had made, or a debit collector contacts you (identity theft checklist). In that case you always should file a police report right away to evaluate the problem before things get worse. Identity thieves can also establish utilities such as telephone service, electricity, or cable services in someone else’s name avoiding monthly payments. They can also send the bills to another address and run up your charges so you may never receive your bill to make your payments, and then your credit history will be destroyed. Skilled identity thefts have developed many easy ways to steal information over time. Some ways are dumpster diving, which is when they rummage through another person’s trash searching for bills and other forms of identification (Identity theft: what to do if it happens to you, 1996). Also, there is skimming which is when they take your card information and merchants record your information while processing your card. Thieves will attach a data storage device to an ATM machine or card reader at...
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