Major research company Gartner Inc estimates that only 1 in 700 identity thieves ever gets apprehended. In Medford Oregon recently they apparently found the one.
The Associated Press reported on an identity thief who showed at at an area bank to cash a bogus check. What gives this story such a bizarre twist is the suspect was captured at the bank by the individual he victimized. Apparantly they were in the same bank at the exact same time as the thief. The victim was there ironically enough to dispute the previous bogus charges.
Unfortunately for most victims of identity theft the chances of coming face to face with the actual thief are slim and at best and non-existent at worst. Identity theft and fraud affects eight to nine million people every single year. While certain forms of identity theft like check fraud are on the decline the same cannot be said for other types like phishing websites which have seen a sharp increase. The innovations in technology are making identity fraud a whole lot easier.
For instance cell phone users may be feeling the pinch thanks to downloading certain applications which have the capability of stealing any personal information you may have stored (like online banking logins and passwords)and routing it to a remote server where identity thieves are waiting to record the information.
The good thing is there is an excellent resource at your disposal. In 1998 Congress passed into law the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. This law made identity theft a federal crime and with this comes harsher punishment when identity theft criminals are seized and found guilty.
It also placed the Federal Trade Commission commonly referred to as the FTC at the vanguard of battling identity theft. The FTC and specifically their internet site is loaded with info such as preventions tips, video and news updates. Over the past decade they have done a terrific job in their efforts to inform the public at large on exactly how embedded this crime has become in our society and the measures essential to safeguard from it.
A key component was the development of the Identity Theft Clearinghouse database. This is an online repository meant to assist local as well as federal law enforcement. Any complaints concerning identity fraud are promptly into the database that is updated constantly.
One final thing this legislation has done to help consumers with any credit issues they may have trouble resolving. Even if they know you’ve been victimized credit reporting agencies for reasons all their own are slow moving when it comes to eliminating it from your personal records. This action can sometimes get speeded up when you have the United States government supporting you.