Identity theft is a vibrant and growing criminal enterprise and consumer advocates have called it the easiest crime because we live in a society where cash is seldom carried and most wallets are filled with plastic. By posing as someone else, thieves have found that they can steal in a way that leaves victims powerless and police uninterested.You may want to check out theft charge lawyers in the Boston area for more.
It is difficult to say how widespread identity theft is because there is no standard definition of the crime. However, there is an increasing number of complaints to the government, business and consumer groups. Credit reporting firms say fraud inquiries have soared from less than 12,000 annually in 1992 to more than 700,000 today. The biggest problem with identity theft statistics is that cases can go for years and years before being detected.
Identity theft encompasses a variety of different crimes such as credit card fraud, stealing an ATM card, using someone’s Social Security number or confiscating someone’s driver’s license. The identity thieves usually use this information to buy everything from cars to toys, leaving the person’s credit rating in ruins. Imposters have been known to commit crimes, then give their fake identity to police when they’re arrested.
Identity theft scams can also occur over the phone. Never answer personal questions about bank accounts, credit card accounts, or other information over the phone. Legitimate credit cars companies never ask for account numbers over the phone. Hang up the phone and if the person gave a company name, call the Better Business Bureau and report the company.
Identity theft can affect anyone at any time during their life. It is important to understand the risks of buying things on the internet and answering questions over the phone that can give another person the opportunity to steal money before you fall into the snare of an identity theft scam.
In many states, stealing someone’s identity is still the perfect crime because there is little that can be done to prosecute it. These states simply do not have any separate statues addressing identity theft. Most states have provisions for prosecuting credit card fraudulent acts or forgery but there are no provisions or recourse for identity theft. The crime is prevalent nationwide and the consequences of it are immense.