Identity Theft...And my take on it!

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    Jun 24, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
    Identity Theft-

    Occurs when someone's identity/life is lifted out of their hands without notice & the person who steals the victim's information uses it against them. Granted it is one of the biggest crimes to hit the waves since the crash of the economy. It is a crime used to refer to fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else in order to steal money or get other benefits. The term is relatively new and is actually a misnomer, since it is not inherently possible to steal an identity, only to use it. The person whose identity is used can suffer various consequences when he or she is held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. In many countries specific laws make it a crime to use another person's identity for personal gain.

    Identity theft is somewhat different from identity fraud. However, the terms are often used interchangably. Identity fraud is the result of identity theft. Someone can steal or appropriate someones identifying information without actually committing identity fraud. My take on it is this, given I was robbed of my ID, is that the person who makes it an effort to rob me of my life's achievement(s) needs to be aware of one thing.

    ...If I had my way, if you steal an identity, you should be the one charged to pay off/clean up the victim's ENTIRE credit report, within a maximum of 3-5 years to do so, or if they don't follow the rules, you do time in prison & when you get out, not only will you have a prison record, you will have the victim's credit report added to your credit report, whereas, the victim of the crime gets a clean credit report.

    As for those who've been the victims of Identity Theft, care to add your own thoughts to this?
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:30 PM GMT
    Our system is screwy. Your SSN was never originally meant to be (ab)used the way it is today. It was originally supposed to be used to track your social security earnings/benefits. But now, it's used as a way to identify you for (mainly) financial transactions. You even need an SSN to start up cell phone service. Lame.

    It's pretty easy to commit identity theft. But it's a major hassle to clean up the mess. The problem is that the 3 major credit reporting agencies have too much power and influence over our lives. If you're a victim of identity theft, then they place the burden on you to prove your innocence. And they don't make it easy either.

    It seems the only way to safeguard your credit history is to put a freeze on your credit files. Each of the credit agencies will allow you to "freeze" your credit. This makes it harder for ID thieves to open a line of credit under your name. If the time comes when you need to make a major purchase that requires taking out a loan, you can remove the credit freeze.

    http://www.consumersunion.org/campaigns/learn_more/003484indiv.html
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    Jun 24, 2009 11:37 PM GMT
    someone tried that with me once, unfortunately he was local too and everyone knew who I was at the time.. poor thing got arrested.. he was cute so I didn't press charges
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    Jun 25, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidsomeone tried that with me once, unfortunately he was local too and everyone knew who I was at the time.. poor thing got arrested.. he was cute so I didn't press charges


    You didn't press charges because he was cute! Don't you care that he could go out and steal another person's Identity? People like him need to be locked up and have the crime on his record for the benefit of society.
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    Jun 25, 2009 4:15 PM GMT
    Identity theft is a horrible thing. My whole family's identities were stolen when a group of thieves broke into our storage unit and got a hold of documents that had identifying information on them.

    Cleaning up the mess takes a really long time, and you never really recover from it. There are still things on my credit report that aren't mine, and companies sometimes make it really difficult to get them taken off.
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    Jun 25, 2009 4:47 PM GMT
    Its never happened to me, i will say most americans are very careless, and do not protect their valuablesicon_eek.gif Until we do a better job of this, thefts will continue.