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We live in the era of crime rise. What are the main reasons of a crime wave? It is quite a paradoxical fact that the police have more and more modern technology to prevent crimes and catch criminals, but it becomes much more difficult. The reason is that the criminals use all this new technology too. The kinds of crimes have been developing with the development of modern technology and society. People are searching easy ways to make money. Identity theft is one of the most popular and less hazardous crimes. It is considered to be an easy way of making money without any casualties. Identity thieves usually choose rich people to make them share their money. Nevertheless, everyone can be the victim of identity thieves. Despite the fact that these kinds of criminals do not use force to hurt people, this kind of crime is considered to be a felony. People’s identity is a very valuable thing and it is very difficult to save a clear name nowadays with the rise of identity thefts.
The following research paper casts light upon the notion of identity theft and different kinds of identity thieves. When people are aware, they are under the protection. This current issue is very valuable nowadays as far as it is very complicated to stop identity thefts. Not only the police should do their best to cut the rise of crimes, but everyone should take care of their identity security personally. We are going to provide some pieces of advice how to protect identity. Moreover, the present research paper provides the latest tricks used by identity thieves. It will be easier to fight against identity thieves if people know all tricks used by them. The following work is based on recent internet articles and statistics. A kind of psychological point of view is used to describe the behavior of an identity thief. Even if people cannot guess a thief by appearance, they can pay attention to some unordinary behavior that betrays thieves.
Identity theft is rising nowadays. It becomes much easier to uncover private information and use it illegally with the help of the internet. According to the statistics from Javelin Strategy & Research, one of every 27 Americans became the victims of identity thieves in 2009.
This kind of crime was firstly considered by Congress to be a federal crime in 1998. It was registered as a felony with a 15-year sentence. According to the last act signed by President Bush in 2004 known as the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, the criminal accused of identity theft should be sentenced minimum to 2 years in prison. Identity theft has become much more popular nowadays. Identity theft is one of the easiest, most risk-free crimes thieves can commit. They don't need a gun, a knife, or a getaway car. All they need is someone's Social Security number and a pen. These kinds of criminals do not have to dirty their hands with blood. They just use their brain to make money illegally.
Almost 15 million of Americans become the victims of this crime every year. Despite people’s efforts, it is very difficult to predict what trick can be used by an identity thief to obtain the necessary information.
All people have heard about this problem, but not everyone can explain what the notion of identity theft really means. Identity thieves assume people’s identity deliberately. Thieves steal different kinds of identity things such as credit cards, driving licenses, account information, and other details about people’s private life. They use all these things to impersonate the victim. Criminals who possess someone’s identity can do whatever they want with this information. They can buy different things with the help of somebody else’s credit card, transfer money, commit crimes, apply for jobs, open a new account, and do other illegal transactions. The criminals use other people’s names to break the law. It is easier to commit crimes using other people’s names as far as nobody suspects an identity thief, and it makes more complicated for the police to catch a criminal. It is considered to be the most valuable reason of the rise of identity thefts. There are a lot of cases when people are judged for crimes they did not do. As it is pointed out, identity thefts may have irreparable consequences. Victims have to spend more than 150 hours and $1200 to clear their names and not always they manage to be given their clear name back. The increase of this crime in a modern society is a problem of paramount importance. Most people do not think about this until they become the victims of identity thieves.
There are different types of identity theft. The criminal has different ways to use one’s personal information. A thief may find private information stealing personal documents, purses, wallets or cracking laptops and databases in the internet. All the actions described above are known as an ‘identity theft’. They are very close to ‘identity fraud’. Nevertheless, the notion of ‘identity theft’ should be differentiated from the notion of ‘financial/identity fraud’. ‘Identity fraud’ is considered to be the usage of personal accounts or credit cards illegally to make different operations with money. On the one hand, a fraud can take advantages from this stolen information in many ways, on the other hand, a fraud does not assume people’s identity as an identity thief does. It is more difficult to stop the consequences of using identity information than to stop money transactions made by financial frauds. People cannot stop identity thieves till the police catch them.
It is very important to reduce the quantity of identity thefts. In other ways, it may cost billions of dollars to consumers as well as to businesses. According to the FTC report of 2003, this kind of crimes cost nearly $5 billion to consumers and $27.6 billion to businesses.
Everyone may become the victim of identity theft. In most cases, identity thieves choose celebrities as their victims as far as they explain it with their status and wealth. These people have a lot of money; that is why, it is not a big problem for them ‘to share’ their profits with such criminals as identity thieves. The best way to cut the consequences is to detect an identity thief as soon as possible. Early detection is a half way to success. Everyone should be very attentive to private safety and monitor their personal accounts. It should be remembered that identity theft has become difficult to prevent with the development of private websites and social nets as far as people provide these sites with all private facts about themselves, facilitating thieves to make their dirty work. The internet is stuffed with fake websites and it is necessary to be a very specialized person to differentiate an official site from a fake one.
Nevertheless, it is better to prevent identity theft rather than to stop its consequences. There are some ways to protect people’s identity information. Everyone should monitor all credit cards or phone accounts regularly. If anyone forgets doing it, experienced thieves use the moment in their benefits. There is a special patented Internet scanning technology that alerts you if your computer or your data are in an unsecure area. People should not spare money on anti-viruses, otherwise they may lose more. If people do not have time to save their identity, there are lots of companies specialized at it, for example, a well-known Identity Guard. It is better to pay money to specialized companies for security rather than to try to clear up one’s stolen name.
It should be noted that sometimes identity thieves do not need highly-developed technologies to commit their dirty crimes. In most cases, they use credit cards or even find some private information in trash. It is a deplorable fact that many identity thieves are people who know you well. Your relatives or close friends may use your personal information to make fake accounts. People should not be confused by the fact that it is not necessary to be a very experienced and professional thief to commit such a serious crime. In most cases, victims do not suspect those people who commit this kind of crime. Identity thieves may be among friends, relatives, or employees, having access to personal information
The best prevention of identity theft is to know the criminal by sight. First of all, everyone should be aware of some tactics used by identity thieves. The most popular tactics is check fraud – different transactions with fake checks; dumpster diving – stealing personal information from trash; account redirection – using different registration forms to elicit some identity information; internal theft – stealing databases from companies by the so-called employees or clients; purse/wallet snatching – taking private information from wallets or purses; mail theft – stealing of mail letters trying to find out some personal facts; data theft – stealing databases from universities, hospitals, or other social institutions having access to identity information; child fraud – stealing identity from a child using their clear reputation; computer spyware – installation of insecure programs by thieves to elicit the necessary information from computers; social security fraud – using fake social security codes by thieves to make victims provide them with the necessary information, etc. Identity thieves are always searching for new ways of stealing personal information. The police as well as every citizen should be aware of the latest tactics used by this kind of criminals. We have already described the most common ways of stealing consumer data; nevertheless, it should be pointed out that there are some new ways invented by these manipulative criminals recently. They are phishing – sending phishing e-mail letters to consumers pretending to be a bank worker or a representative of other institutions to pump personal information out of people; pharming – a new technique of developing fake web-sites of different companies, making people provide their personal information; skimming – the special method of collecting personal information from a credit card with the help of credit card’s magnetic strip (it is very popular in shopping centers or restaurants where people pay with their credit cards); wireless hacking – stealing identity information from computers through wireless connections; pretexting – the way of pretending to be a representative of an official institution to obtain personal information, etc. Identity theft is rising nowadays due to the development of technology and invention of new tactics of stealing personal information. Such new computer tricks as viruses, worms, malicious software, Trojan horses, rootkits, and spyware make identity theft very easy. Sometimes, it is very difficult to figure out what tactics will be used by identity thieves next time. The success of identity thieves depends on their new unexpected tricks. When people do not know what to expect and how to protect their identity, they are defenseless. When the police are trying to cut the quantity of identity thefts, criminals are working out new tactics and programs to be successful at their crimes.
It is very complicated to describe a typical appearance of identity thieves as far as they may be of different age, sex, color, and social level. It may be whoever with access to private databases. A well-known example was Claude Allen, one of the most influential advisers of George Bush, who was charged with identity theft. He was hardly believed to be a criminal of such kind. Despite the impossibility of catching the criminal with the help of appearance, psychologists point out that people can be given away by their behavior. Specialized agents are prepared to recognize such kinds of behavior that betray identity thieves. There are a lot of works devoted to this psychological attitude to catch thieves. Generally speaking, a person who is going to steal behaves in quite an uncertain way, selecting goods without paying attention to their quality and prices and scrutinizing the ceilings and walls for the presence of cameras. If this person is your friend or relative, he/she tries to become closer, making you trust and provide identity information.
When people become the victims of identity thieves or witnesses of this kind of crime, they should act immediately The first step is to report to the police about this crime. It is very difficult to clear people’s names without the police help. Everyone should obligatory report to official institutions that those money operations have not been made by them and provide evidence. If one has suspicious letters in the internet, he/she report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Everyone should be persistent as far as it is connected with their names. There is no another thing of such importance as people’s names.
The government has accepted different laws increasing penalties to save the citizens from identity thieves. Although the government tries to combat this kind of crime, everyone should do their best to protect their identity. Two basic ways may be efficient to prevent identity theft: credit card monitoring and reliable insurance services.
Nowadays, not only material things can be stolen, but also people’s identity. Identity theft is considered to be a felony with the sentence to 2 years according to the Congress’ Act. The notion of ‘identity theft’ denotes illegal actions done by criminals using other people’s identity.
Identity thieves use different tactics while stealing personal information. They are check fraud, dumpster, account redirection, internal theft, purse/wallet snatching, mail theft, data theft, child fraud, computer spyware, social security fraud, etc. Moreover, identity thieves are developing new tricks to obtain personal information from people. Phishing, pharming, skimming, wireless hacking, and pretexting belong to the latest tactics. Such new technologies as viruses, worms, malicious software, Trojan horses, rootkits, and spyware considerably simplify the process of identity theft.
There are some psychological issues used to describe the behavior of a thief as far as it is impossible to do it by appearance, age, or sex. An identity thief may be among people who have access to information. They may be close friends, employees, or even relatives. There are two basic ways to protect people’s identity. They are monitoring credit cards, accounts, and all operations dealing with money and identity information or referring to specialized companies doing their best to secure people’s private information.
About the author: Jennifer Cooper is a bachelor in English philology and literature at Michigan University. Jennifer is currently working as one of the best writers at the exclusive papers net She also studies feminine psychology