Here are two of, possibly, the most hated words in the English language: Identity Theft.
Identity theft is a serious crime that has become a major cause for concern in most industrialized nations, especially in the West. The United States, in particular, has become a hotbed of Identity theft related crimes. Those who commit the crime of Identity theft are nothing more than common criminals. These criminals prey upon the financial well-being of usually unsuspecting victims. The victims of Identity Theft often never even realize that they have been the victims of such a crime until the bank (or the FEDs) come knockin’.
Identity Theft, and related crimes, has only recently come on the radar of law enforcement and government agencies including the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov). While law enforcement has been tackling the issue for some time now — Congress has finally stepped in. The last few years have seen legistlators on Capitol Hill holding Committee hearings into the depth and magnitude of this crime. Keep in mind that Identity Theft is in no way a victimless crime — and — like most other crimes involves layers of illegal activity and collusion. Often, the crime of Identity Theft is part of a larger network of criminal activity that ultimately has it’s despicable tentacles among transnational groups and actors/operators.
In essence Identity Theft, and related financial crime(s), are sometimes the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, in a web of crime that has also spread with globalization (and in some cases has even moved on specific routes of global economic growth) to transnational actors with the most nefarious of intentions in mind.
It’s not all gloom-and-doom however. There are things that you can do to by being proactive in protecting yourself from Identity Theft. Here are just a few simple things that anyone can do:
1. Regularly monitor your credit report.
2. Get a micro shredder and destroy ANYTHING with your personal information on it.
3. Never give out your personal information (including PIN #’s) to anyone you don’t know or feel comfortable with.
4. Don’t make your PIN #’s easy to determine.
5. Avoid making too many purchases online. In those moments when you absolutely must have that dirt cheap SD Card or digital camera on Ebay … please do so with one unique credit card that you only use for online transactions. This credit card should also have a small limit (less than $1,000) so that the impact of a possible Identity Theft crime can also be handled in an easier manner. Simply put, you don’t want potential thieves ripping you off for too much should you be the victim of such a crime.
Remember that Identity Theft is not a victimless crime. If you do not keep a watchful eye on your money — thieves will…
What is Identity Theft?
(Warning: The lady in this video is not wearing hijab. Also, I am not promoting any Identity Theft product — I just like the opening of this video)
How To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft:
A humorous take on Identity Theft: