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Identity Theft The Faceless Crime( This Was A Research Assignment Based On My Own Experience With Identity Theft).

1460 words - 6 pages

The Faceless Crime Its 9:00 A.M. April 25, 2003 an identity thief has just purchased a new car using your identity. You may not find out about your new car purchase until someone shows up at your doorstep to repossess your new car. You may think you have a handle on your personal information, but unfortunately no one does. I myself was cautious about whom I gave personal information to and thought I was safe. I never gave out any type of personal information on the Internet and tried to take all necessary precautions with personal information. Apparently I didn't do enough to prevent someone from stealing my identity. August of 2002, I received a credit card bill in the mail with a balance of $1700. The card company was unfamiliar, but the card was in my name. I immediately called the card company, cancelled the card and was told the charges would be investigated. One month later I received another statement from the same credit card account, but the balance had increased. I called the credit card company and was told someone claiming to be myself asked to reopen the same card account. The customer service representative explained that there was no way for anyone to open an account or reopen a cancelled account without personal information on the cardholder. The representative said they had given my social security number and mother's maiden name. I was in complete shock, because I had always tried to safeguard personal information. I spent a total of four hours that day on the phone with the credit card company. I finally got the card cancelled and under investigation. It's been seven months since it all began, but it's not over yet. The charges on the credit card are still under investigation and I am constantly checking my credit report for unauthorized charges. Identity theft leads to a drop in a victim's personal credit rating, years of aggravation, and indirect costs to consumers and financial institutions. Indeed, it doesn't matter who you are or what precautions you take, anyone can become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge, to commit fraud or theft. Ebony magazine printed a story just this month about Will Smith become a victim to this faceless crime. The man convicted was in possession of fourteen credit cards issued in Will Smith's name and had charged $32,897.34 ("How To"). People may not want to accept the fact that their personal information is readily available to anyone who decides to use it. Like Will Smith, most victims don't even know their personal information is being used. Another good example Mari Frank, an attorney in California was unaware of charges being made in her name until a bank called and asked Frank why she had not paid on an $11,000 credit card bill. Frank later found out the imposter had charged over $50,000 in merchandise including a Mustang Convertible (Lobb 1). As the evidence, indicates identity theft can...

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