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
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.