Identity theft is the most-costly and fastest growing crime in the world. Ident theft is a white-collar crime that became popular among criminal in today’s society. It accords when a criminal obtains someone’s personal information without them knowing, such as, their bank account or social security number, many people uses the internet as a productive and educational tool to stay connected and knowledgeable; and criminal uses it to gain access to peoples’ information. Social media is one of the few ways criminal get hold of people information since people use it for personal and business purposes.
Despite the beneficial reasons, a lot of people became victims because they’re not aware that criminal can steal their identity through social media. Thousands of peoples’ identity is stolen each year and it has an enormous psychological and financial impact on each victim. Identity theft is a difficult crime to which mean many cases become unsolved mysteries. Beginning of identity theft Identity theft has been around for decades, long before the internet. Thieves were using old fashion technique to gain access to peoples’ personal information.
Some of the offline method thieves including dumpster diving for discarded financial records, credit card statements, and pre-approval credit card application. They would steal mail from their victim’s mail box, complete a change of address form through post office to divert their victim’s mail to them and secured low-level employment with an organization to gain access to and seal consumers Social Security Number, credit and financial reports (Saunder and Zucker, 1999). The traditional techniques still account for many cases today.
With the improvement of the internet and database for storing peoples’ information, it gave hieves an easier way to access someone’s personal information. Now Identity thieves can set up a phishing scam and probably gain access to thousands of people information with the same amount of time that one thief would take to physically steal a person credit card. In the United States, the fastest growing crime is identity theft. The rate of identity is increasing by the way people live their lives. Peoples’ personal information are becoming easier to access because of the process they used. Some of the ways we choose, make it easier for thieves to steal our information.
For those who became a victim of identity theft are more likely to have financial issues. Identity theft can affect a person ability to maintain or get good credit score. Thousands of peoples’ personal information is at risk of identity theft each year. These alarming statistics demonstrate that identity theft may be the most frequent, costly and pervasive crime in the United States (Douglas, Britt, Palmer, Lubsen and Lodrick, 2012). People who are victim of identity theft is most likely to have financial issues. It is the type of crime which is quite lucrative and encouraged a lot of thieves to cheat the system.
The internet The internet play big role in identity theft in this new era. People uses the internet a lot for business and personal purposes. The often uses of the internet make it easier for criminal to obtain and access people’s information. When a thief gain access to someone’s personal information, they may change address on existing accounts and run up bills, open a new credit card account, obtain house or car loan in their victim’s name, obtain counterfeit checks to drain victim’s bank accounts, or use a person’s information when arrest for a crime (Lynch, 2005).
Phishing is one of the most use internet method thieves uses on the internet. Phishing accord when someone pretend to be a company or financial institution and send email to get your personal information. Phishing happen when someone purchase an item from a fake website. It affect the internet by undermining consumers’ trust in secured online transaction, which causes online shopping to decrease. Phishing is a harmful form of identity theft to both the use of the internet and consumers. Phishing can cause financial damage to victim’s, merchant and credit card reputation.
Type of identity theft There are different types of identity theft, such as, medical, criminal and synthetic. Medical identity theft accords when a thief uses someone’s insurance benefits, the stolen health information can use to get medical treatment or obtain drugs, or defraud insurers or government benefit programs (Smith, 2014). Criminal identity theft happens when a charge is place on someone record after a thief uses their information while being charge for a crime. Synthetic identity theft is a fraud that include false identity.
It is created with a real or fake information, or completely fictions information. Identity thieves used synthetic theft to get passport or driver’s license, credit and debit card. Prevention There are many action a person can take in order to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft. To avert an identity thief from obtain your personal information from your dumpster or recycling bin, shred all insurance forms, credit card offers received in mail, change receipts, bank and check statement and copies of credit application.
Phishing can be prevent by verify a source before sharing your credit or debit card, avoid pop-up emails, avoid using easy access information; and don’t give your personal information to any company through mail or over the internet without knowing who you’re doing business with. To avoid getting caught the traditional way, lock all personal in a safe place and secure purses and wallets, travel with information needed. Medical identity theft can be prevent by sharing health information only with trusted providers and keeping copies of health-care records in case of a dispute (Prevention of medical theft, 2008).
Identity thieves also uses phone call their victims as another way to fain information. Contact you financial institution directly to verify personal finances and avoid giving it out over the phone. As people become aware of scams, fraudster change their methods of scamming and come up with new methods (how to detect, 2014). The three D’s strategy are very helpful. Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information, detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring financial account and bill statement, and defend against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem (Financial regulatory authority).
In 2014, an estimate of 17. 6 million persons or 7% of all U. S. resident age 16 or older were victims of one or more type of identity theft (Harrel, 2015). Studies showed, higher income household were average from $75,000 (10. 7%) up were more likelt to become victims of identity theft than lower income household average from $25,000 to $49,999 (5. 9%) each year (Harrel, 2015). The most common type of identity theft was misues credit card (86%), 16. 4 million people were victim of it.
As for gender, female more likely to be victim of identity than male. There were 9. 2 million female victims to 8. 3 million male victims (Bereau of justice statistic). As for race, white experience at a higher rate than black 5%, Hispanic 5% and others 6% (Harrel, 2015). In South Carolina, there were 5,010 complaints of identity theft in 2014 (Harrel1 2015). Conclusion Identity theft is increasing and becoming a common crime in today’s modern world. It is a widespread issue affecting millions of people each year.
Identity thieves obtain victims information from the internet or trash tend to use their victim information to produce identity related documents such as bank cards, and driver’s licenses. Victims of identity theft are age 16 to 50 with an annual income of $75,000. Identity offenders are motivated by the need of easy money. Therefore, people should learn the safeguard of identity theft so that they can prevent themselves from becoming a victim. Using the three D’s strategy will help reducing the risk of identity theft. Being secure and proactive aware will of keeping personal information will reduce the risk of identity theft.