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The Eruption of Identity Theft

In: Computers and Technology

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Running Head: The Eruption of Identity Theft

The Eruption of Identity Theft
Thomas J. Moore
Saint Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs
CJE1669 - Identity Theft Investigations (Online) Thomas 5/21/13

The idea of identity theft is nothing new; it has been around for centuries in one form or another. I would say that Martin Biegelman defines identity theft in a way in which we can all understand, he says that identity theft is the seizure of a person’s private information to mimic that person in a legal sense.

So many people are asking the question, why is it so easy for criminals to obtain a victim’s personal information? Well because unlike your fingerprints, which are distinctive to you plus cannot be handed to someone else for their use, but your social security number, your bank account or credit card number, as well as other important recognizing data that could be used , if they had fallen into the wrong hands, that means that someone would profit at your expense. In my view, I say it is so easy for criminals to obtain a victim’s personal information because some of the basic methods that are being used to obtain ones identity such as: stealing ones wallet, digging through the trash for credit card receipts, and as low as a dishonest employee taking information from their own work place. In Martin Biegelman’s Identity Theft Handbook he states that “Mail theft is another valuable source of personal data for identity thieves” (Biegelman, 2009, pg.4).

Several individuals have informed officials that unauthorized individuals have taken money out of their bank accounts, as well as, taken over their identities altogether, and even maxing out their credit cards. According to consumer reports magazine, “Although the number of incidents of identity theft/fraud has dropped and there are fewer victims, the remaining frauds are more difficult to detect and resolve, resulting in higher consumer costs” (Consumer Reports, 1997, pg.12).

One must remember that there will always be financial fraud, and that no payment system is perfect. However, when it comes to identity theft, the financial services industry must bear some of the blame for the crime. The credit granting system and electronic payment mechanisms are designed in such a way that committing fraud is easy. According to Epic.org they believe identity theft is that the credit industry causes the crime by adopting practices that favor convenience over security. In my opinion, I believe that actions could be taken to lower the occurrence of identity theft severely, for instance making credit issuers carefully check applications for new accounts.

To wrap it up, I don’t think that the credit card companies and banks want to cause harm; it's that accepting some identity theft ends in more earnings for the businesses. If the businesses turn away a genuine client in the concern of carefulness it could result in lost sales. In many cases, it’s the sellers who swallow the costs of identity theft.

References
Biehelman, M. (2009). Identity theft handbook detection, prevention, and security. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.pp.4
Consumer Reports Special Report. (1997). "Are you a Target for Identity Theft?" Sept. 1997, pp. 10-16.
EPIC (2004). Comments to the Department of Commerce on the Use of Biometrics to Address Identity Theft, Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://epic.org/privacy/idtheft/

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