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 a retail checkout that will steal important credit card information and debit credit card numbers.
Another type of identity theft is phishing. Thieves pretend to be a financial institution and send spam pop-ups to your computer to persuade consumers to reveal themselves. Identity thieves are also using technology to steal your identity. For example, some thieves plant crime ware directly onto your personal computer to steal your credentials. This happens on corporate computers and can compromise computer security (identity theft checklist). Another growing problem that exists online is pharming crime ware that misdirects users to fraudulent sites or servers.
They run up charges on your existing account by opening a wireless phone account in your name. Also they can use your name to receive utility services such as cable TV, heating, and electricity. Bank and finance fraud is when they use your name or account number to create counterfeit checks with a large amount of money that can leave you far in debt. Also they can open a banking account and write out bad checks to people in your name. They could also drain your account by making unauthorized use of credit cards and make electronic withdrawals. They may even take out an entire loan (WWW.
SSA. GOV, 2009). There are some laws that protect consumers from identity theft. Current legislation such as CHECK 21 tries to prevent thieves from stealing your bank account information. For example, previously bank customers would receive their checks in the mail with their monthly summary statement making it easier for thieves to have access to sensitive information. CHECK 21 allows receivers to receive digital versions of checks instead of paper copies making it more difficult for thieves to access account information (Identity theft: what to do if it happens to you, 1996).
The fair credit reporting act is also a very good way of protection. This is a federal law in the United States that controls consumer’s credit card information. Just as the fair debt collection practices act, it gives the rights of consumer credit in the United States. This act is entitled amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to oblige insured banks to preserve certain records, to require that certain transactions in United States currency be reported to the Department of the Treasury (identity theft checklist).
Fair debt collection practices act provides rights to consumers and limits debt collector’s abilities. Some debt collectors harass people by calling them constantly at inconvenient hours of the morning or night. In this case you are able to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. Many collection agencies offer consolidation programs so consumers can pay off their debt and establish good credit. There are also courses available to teach people money management and responsibilities (About identity theft). The electronic transfer act is another great way to keep your personal identity safe.
This act was established to give you rights and responsibility of consumers and all the contributors in electronic funds transfer actions. The electronic transfer act is not particularly very flawless. This system occasionally makes errors so you will need to review the transactions to be carful. There are procedures you must follow if there are errors noticed. You must contact a financial institution within thirty days and explain your predicament so they can begin to investigate and solve your problem (identity theft checklist).
The annual free credit report act provides consumers with a free credit report once a year from the three national credit reporting agencies. Some companies require payments for your credit report and should not have to. Some services proclaim they are free, and then bill you for services you must cancel. The information in your report is used to evaluate your submission for credit, insurance, employment, and renting a home. Also, you should always make sure your reports are up to date by seeing if you recognize the information (About identity theft).
Credit bureaus present consumer credit information from various sources such as bill paying borrowing behavior. This gives lenders a better feel of trust for your ability to pay back loans and influences your interest rate. Experian is credit bureaus that provide information to consumers to help manage financial decisions. Also there is Equifax which gives businesses and consumers information they can trust. TransUnion gives consumers and business advantages to manage your decisions. Risk-based pricing will affect your Interest rate by risking amounts of borrowed money and proving you can pay them off.
People with poor credit such as bankruptcies will pay a higher annual interest rate than those who have good credit (Identity theft- what you need to know to protect yourself). Fraud is a huge problem in the United States for various reasons. It has caused many problems for people such as loss of life, money, injuries, and more serious things. Fraud is misrepresentation with intent to deceive. This is when someone or a company advertises something when they are well aware that it is not capable of what they have guaranteed (Identity theft: what to do if it happens to you, 1996).
Fraud investigators determine if fraud has occurred and identifies confirmation. Telemarketing fraud is one of the most common types. When you give personal or financial information to unknown callers or money to people you do not know personally, you increase your likelihood of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud. Once you pay money to a fraud over the phone, it is difficult to get your money back, but here are many ways to avoid telemarketing fraud. You must always be alert when it comes to purchasing over the telephone (Fedral trade commission).
Craigslist is a free online classified ad service that people can use for various reasons. It is used to buy, sell, trade, job, and much more. Identity theft on craigslist is easy to identify, for example if someone asks for a payment ahead of time or asks for personal information without proof of your purchase. You should always be aware of keeping your personal information anonymous and check the other person’s credentials. Craigslist is a great tool if used carefully, or you could be put in a bad situation (About identity theft).
Microsoft provides computer security, digital privacy, and online safety to its consumers. There are programs to stop phishing and gives you tip’s on how protect your personal information. It offers antivirus and spyware programs, PC safety scams, and malicious software removal tools. Former United States senator Hillary Clinton states that well over 400,000 children are victims of identity theft. The percentage of children victims have rapidly grown to be a proportion of 78 percent.
A seven year old with a clean credit history had their social security number stolen by a theft that purchased a $40,000 houseboat. Clinton’s reaction to this dilemma was to develop Privacy Rights and Oversight for Electronic and Commercial Transaction act, and make sure that all companies giving access to credit confirm the age of the applicant (About identity theft). Senator Charles Schumer has embarked on a domestic investigation into account fraud which had led to substantial identity theft. Westlaw, an information company, allowed clients to search for individual social security number.
As a result, Schumer has put control on access for those who can find information on Westlaw’s security systems. Schumer states, “While ChoicePoint’s recent breach of security has been one of the biggest cases of ID theft in the country, ID theft is popping up everyday at other companies who have similarly lacked the proper security to guard people’s personal information. The new rise in identity theft cases nationwide is approaching epidemic proportions and Congress must act quickly to bolster privacy protections. (Identity theft- what you need to know to protect yourself). Victims of identity theft in some instances, credit reports could contain negative information that may deny you loans for education. This will enable you to attend the college you desire due to money issues as well as housing and vehicles. Also you may be limited with few job opportunities. In rare cases you could even be arrested for a crime you did not even commit. Once thieves have stolen your identity they can do a lot of damage with your personal information such as credit card frauds.
They can change a very good credit history to an extremely awful one that would take a lot of time to make things back to normal. All the payments would get sent to your card and you’d have to pay all the bills before you notice what is happeningif you figure out your identity has been stolen, or are even suspicious that your credit reports have any additional unknown charges you should contact the police immediately before problems get worse. You should also notify creditors to restore your good name as soon as you can.
A police report contains important information such as specific details for an identity theft report. This can permanently block fraudulent information that leads to identity theft and hides personal information from appearing on your credit report and make sure that these debts do not turn back up on these credit reports. You may be able to work with the company to resolve the dispute. Filing a report will let you take advantage to the protection you are entitled to (identity theft checklist). The United States has attempted a variety of different ways to improve the prevention of Identity Theft.
There has been many times where there has been success found in the progress. One case, the Colorado House of Representatives has made changes to discontinue the thief from getting information and using it to obtain employment or preserve employment. Another way Identity theft has improved its prevention is the National Tax Payer Advocate alleged the International Revenue Service to improve protection to assist victims of identity theft. The IRS does not contain advocate action and this is the reason payers are required by law to give personal information.
National Society of Accountance agreed the risk of identity theft is a substantial distress. Many recommendations were persecuted to protect tax payers (Identity theft: what to do if it happens to you, 1996). Identity theft is a very serious problem the United States has been facing for a very long time. In some cases, if you notice and report the problem early before it gets bad, you can take care of it much easier. In other cases where victims have had hundreds of dollars taken from them are in a much worse situation.
They have to try and repair the damages that have happened to their credit records over a long period of time. The long term effects of identity theft are always awful and don’t end well. It lingers for a long time and your life could never be the same. You must always be aware of keeping your personal information private for no one to see or you will have very harsh consequences. BIBLIOGRAPHY “Identity Theft: What to Do If It Happens to You | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. ” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Empowering Consumers. Protecting Privacy. Web. 25 May 2011. “Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number. ” The United States Social Security Administration. Web. 25 May 2011. http://www. ssa. gov/pubs/10064. html. “FTC Consumer Information – ID Theft, Privacy, & Security: Identity Theft. ” Federal Trade Commission. Web. 25 May 2011. “About Identity Theft – Deter. Detect. Defend. Avoid ID Theft. ” Federal Trade Commission. Web. 25 May 2011. . “What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft. ” Identity Theft – What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft. Web. 25 May 2011. .