Identity Theft, The New Crime of the Information Age

March 24, 2008

Every year countless Canadians fall victim to identity theft crimes, the number of victims may be somewhat small but the impact that it has on the individuals can be staggering. Not just the financial impact but the emotional impact it has as well.

The question that maybe on most of our minds is , what is identity theft? According to the RCMP, “Identity theft involves stealing, misrepresenting or hijacking the identity of another person or business and provides an effective means to commit other crimes.” The recent statistics from Phonebusters for 2006 are very disturbing.

2006

PROVINCES

VICTIMS

$ LOSS

ON

3353

$7,584,188.86

PQ

2040

$4,674,504.44

BC

1190

$2,035,365.27

AB

612

$1,439,474.29

MB

249

$151,860.16

SK

94

$61,192.28

NS

106

$155,039.49

NB

67

$92,396.07

NF

29

$30,107.04

UNKNOWN

12

$3,102.62

PE

11

$17,059.00

NT

7

$3,102.62

YK

7

$2,379.23

NU

1

$0

TOTALS

7778

$16,283,776.91

Identity theft is the crime of choice in today’s age or more importantly the information age. What are they stealing?

Identity thieves commit fraud and other crimes by assuming someone else’s identity. Personal information such as your name, date of birth, address, credit card, social insurance number and other identification can be used to steal money from your existing accounts, open other financial accounts, make purchases, or even obtain employment.

Here’s a very interesting video from CBC’S, The National.

http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/23745/thenational/archive/identitytheft-011508.wmv</

But how do they get this private information? Here are some of the ways they obtain your personal information;
1. Dumpster Diving
2. Shoulder Surfing
3. Skimming
4. Phishing

In today’s society where information is giving very freely  to someone who asks you via phone, internet or whenever you purchase something in a store, they ask for some sort of personal information, regarding address, phone number, etc.

Here are some things that can be done to help revent identity theft;

  • Guard Your Personal Information
  • Don’t Leave Personal Information
  • Shred Personal Information
  • Keep Your Sin to Yourself
  • Protect Your Credit Card
  • Take All Receipts
  • Be Aware of Billing Cycles or Missing Mail
  • Cover Keypad Entry When Entering Pin Numbers
  • Use Difficult Passwords
  • Avoid Writing Down Passwords and PINS
  • Hang up and Telephone Solicitors
  • Check Your Credit Report

 Taking these precautions  will make it harder for criminals to steal your identity and prevent you from being a statistic.

Tony

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5 Responses to “Identity Theft, The New Crime of the Information Age”

  1. Katelyn Murnaghan Says:

    It’s pretty crazy how quickly something like this can happen to people without a trace.

  2. wattsy Says:

    thats a lot of money for identity theft crimes. It definitely makes you think that is can happen to anyone seeing those statistics. I think two of the big precautions in your list is to saving receipts, and use difficult passwords. But they are definitely all good precautions.

  3. romizuddin Says:

    Identity theft can ruin your name by steeling your name, or credit card number. It can be happened to anyone. I think the best way to minimize the risk is keeping personal information very wisely and cautiously.

  4. jencampbell Says:

    Those stats are crazy, i imagine they only get worse with each year as technology is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives. Also with those precautions, i would have never thought of monitoring your actual physical mail. I guess thats something i will add to my list of things to be watchful for.


  5. ID theft is on the rise. Its important to do what we can to combat it and protect ourselves. The rise of the handheld computers mean we are entering more personal information on the move, which can result in shoulder surfers having a sneak peak. Theft of a password can be the start ID theft, just as going through ones rubbish.
    Whether online or offline its important to protect your information always.


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