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ID Theft - After-shock review

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a non-profit organisation involved in the fight against ID theft, has released the 2007 'ID Theft Aftermath' report. This report outlines the 'human' side of ID theft - what effect does ID theft have on victims and their responses and feelings. The report covers victims in the US and hence represents the most 'knowledgeable' market in the world.


 This report documents the experience and trauma of Id theft victims who have worked with the ITRC. Some of the key items that I found of utmost interest are:

-More than half (57%) of the cases were committed to open line of credit -i.e. credit cards, loans, etc.

-62% of victims reported that the crimes resulted in warrants issued against them.

-One third of the  victims reported the perpetrator as a person known to the victim.

-Lack of helpfulness on part of authorities and police.

-Stress and long hours spent by the victims to clear their names.

And..  many other interesting facts and figures that merit reading

However, my take is that the report doesn't adequately cover the impact of social networking and other forms of online cloning. The victim mostly detects the theft only when he is called by the lender for payment, or is denied credit by another provider.

To me, the most galling conclusion I derive is that if ID theft victims are put through a wringer in the US; imagine what must a victim in an emerging market going through! I am sure there must be a number of victims languishing in jail for crimes they never committed!

The verbatim comments by the victims published at the end of the report makes a good read as well. While ID theft statistics look bad on its own; the assessment of their impact on people's lives certainly deserves more attention. In our advancement towards Web 2.0 (or is it 3.0?), we may find our basic foundations and values are hijacked already by criminals whose profits keep improving with each version.


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 June, 2008, 01:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Well as I have said and these numbers support - If the credit reference providers were required to notify consumers whenever someone applied for credit in their name then 57% of ID fraud would be prevented.

So Experian etc are a party to 57% of ID fraud. My logic is that it could not be perpetrated without the co-operation of the credit bureaus.

Perhaps the pollies will move on this. It's obvious that everyone else involved in the chain of ID theft is without sufficient ethics to do what is easily within their power and budget.

(I suppose that means my credit rating is catus now?) 

If I am mistaken then perhaps a reply from Experian, or should readers assume that zero comment = zero ethics?

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