Identity theft is not a new crime, especially in the United States, since for a number of years now it has become ever more rampant.
There are various licensed research companies, such as Javelin Strategy and Research, that have collected enough data regarding identity theft dating back some years.
In all these documented identity fraud survey reports there is one specific one that came out in 2009 which revealed so much information.
Defining Identity Theft
To begin with, it was able to clearly define what identity theft is all about.
This is a crime that takes place when another person steals and uses your personal details without your go ahead.
When this information is then used to commit crimes, steal a person’s money, buy various things or withdraw money from someone else’s accounts and some even going to the extent of seeking employment or medical care using these details it is known as identity fraud.
These studies also showed that about 10 million Americans suffered from identity theft in the year 2008 which is almost an increase of 2 million from those affected in 2007.
This goes to show how widespread this type of crime has become.
There is so much more that can be stolen from an individual other than details linked to their credit cards.
Some of these include your social security number and details on your driver’s license amongst many others.
With your personal details the identity thieves will be able to create fake documents and commit crimes as it will be you who has your name listed on the state criminal database once they are charged and convicted.
Some of these criminals are known to plead guilty only to fail to show up for hearings forcing the judge to place a warrant of arrest.
In such a case the only time the victim gets to know about it is when they are stopped for traffic checks.
This particular scam takes up about 40 percent of the various types of identity theft combined.
Avoiding Identity Theft
When an identity thief has your details they are able to do countless things, from purchasing goods with your credit card to committing crimes under your name.
To avoid this it is important to regularly check on your credit card statements for any irregularities as it will help you cancel any of them before a certain period expires.
This crime has become so common mainly due to the fact that majority of those who steal other people’s identities often go scot free as they can never be traced and found.
The victims are usually the ones left behind dealing with the creditors.
Avoid giving out your details such as birth date and year, social security number, your bank and credit card details to strangers since criminals use them at your own expense as you end up having to pay for all the expenses they made, possibly leaving you in financial ruin for many years to come.