Identity Theift Essay

1672 Words7 Pages
Identity theft is a term used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Unlike your fingerprints, which are unique to you and cannot be given to someone else for their use, your personal data ¬ especially your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, your telephone calling card number, and other valuable identifying data ¬ can be used, if they fall into the wrong hands, to personally profit at your expense (Weisman). Over the last few years, the number of reported cases of identity theft has skyrocketed, from 86,000 reported cases in 2001 to over 10,000,000 in 2005 (Weisman).…show more content…
(Some credit card companies, when sending credit cards, have adopted security measures that allow a card recipient to activate the card only from his or her home telephone number but this is not yet a universal practice (Weisman).) Also, if your mail is delivered to a place where others have ready access to it, criminals may simply intercept and redirect your mail to another location. In recent years, the Internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information (Borrus). In their haste to explore the exciting features of the Internet, many people respond to "spam" ¬ unsolicited E-mail ¬ that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data, without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his promise. In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data. With enough identifying information about an individual, a criminal can take over that individual's identity to conduct a wide range of crimes: for example, false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real
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