Idenity Theft Essay

1430 Words6 Pages
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 11.7 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2010 (U.S. Dept. of Justice). Identity theft is defined as a crime where someone illegally acquires and utilizes another person’s vital information to deceive for personal gain. That same year, the Federal Trade Commission reported that identity theft crimes cost businesses and individuals an estimated $53 billion (Federal Trade Commission). Most Americans are familiar with identity theft but aren’t well-informed about the influence it has on the economy in addition to individuals. They are not knowledgeable about the laws that are meant to protect consumers and are not mindful of the ways to protect themselves. Maybe if…show more content…
Information can be attained through friends /relatives, accessed as part of a transaction, taken by a corrupt employee at any institution used, through mail, computer spyware, virus, hackers, and email, also out of the trash (Katel, Peter). The average American ignores the risks that everyday activities put it in. Ignorance is never an excuse when something of such substantial value becomes compromised, nor does it rectify the damages. Damages from identity theft crimes can distress the victims in a number of ways. Victims can end up losing their possessions or paying out of their own pockets for the things the thief acquired through the fraudulent use of their identity. For instance, a victim and his wife spent more than four years and an estimated $15,000 of their own money repairing their credit and reputations. After the thief attained over $100,000 of debt and was convicted, he called their house and ridiculed them (United States Department of Justice). In addition to the financial losses, victims must spend countless hours in the process of repairing the destruction of their reputation, a process that involves notifying all the appropriate agencies to explain how personal information could have been stolen and how it was used fraudulently, over and over with each financial institution and creditors, in addition to postal inspection services, Federal Trade Commission, Social Security Administration, law
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