Identity Theft

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Kevin Gardner
Proposal Paper
ENWR 102-G
4/25/2013
Identity theft is committed every day in the United States. This form of crime can be extremely serious and life changing. The amount of resources the United States puts toward the prevention of identity theft is just not enough. Identity theft can harm a persons’ entire life because of all the damage that the thief can cause in such a short amount of time. Identity theft is a threat to everybody and the world as a whole should be more aware of the consequences because of all the pain it can cause. Being the victim of identity theft comes with severe consequences and the attorney general’s office, police departments, and banks need to start educating the population about this issue. The definition of identity theft according to “dictionary.com” is, “The crime of setting up and using bank accounts and credit facilities fraudulently in another person’s name without his or her knowledge” (Identity Theft). Although identity theft commonly consists of personal identification cards as well as credit cards being stolen, there are more serious cases where people have had passports, banking codes, and social security numbers stolen. In the book Identity Theft: A Reference Handbook, Sandra Hoffman states “Victims and perpetrators of identity theft vary in age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and occupation. Furthermore, it is a crime of global concern. Incidents of identity theft are escalating in the United States as well as in other countries. Given the far-reaching implications and proliferation of the crime, it is important to develop a thorough understanding of the crime in order to work toward viable solutions to the problem. ” (Hoffman 7). One of the most serious identity theft cases was committed by Philip Cummings, a desk helper at a software firm in Long Island. Cummings stole from over 33,000 consumers with an unknown net gross of between $50 and $100 million. “According to U.S. attorney James Comey, the identities were turned into cash any number of ways. Bank accounts of victims were depleted, addresses were changed on accounts, new checks were ordered, new ATM cards were ordered, new credit cards were ordered, and new lines of credits were opened and quickly drained” (Sullivan 1). This crime was committed back in 2003, and since then, only two out of a suspected 30 to 50 have been arrested besides Cummings. This shows that it is hard to catch identity thieves. Identity theft is a crime that is hard to track down, hard to prove, yet easy to do. Identity thieves are able to do simple tasks, such as looking through someone else’s mail or internet scams in order to get the needed information. Another method is to take on very complex and prolonged schemes, such as recording people entering pin codes for a debit card and stealing the card later. One of the most used, yet most complicated, methods of identity theft, is getting into someone’s car undetected and getting access to their purse or wallet. This method is done by the thief acquiring a device that is able to detect signals sent by car keys. This device will mimic the signal of unlocking the car door so that the thief does not look conspicuous when unlocking and entering the car. After the thief is in the car, usually just a purse or wallet is stolen. So now the thief has time to use his newfound attributes. There are so many different methods of identity theft, some are complex, some are simple, but either way no one is safe.

The chances of a robbed identity also vary with occupation. For instance physicians are known as some of the highest targeted people for identity theft, due to the accessibility of files with personal information and the general wages physicians make. Of course, the thief, in order to have access to the files would have to be someone extremely close to the same field as the physician while they work. So, the most likely people to commit identity theft against...
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