Identity theft as a crime that evolved with the technology development is a pressing problem that needs special attention. So, what is understood by identity theft? How identities can be stolen? And what can be done to reduce the impact of identity theft on victims?
Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses somebody’s personal information to obtain financial or personal gain. When someone attempts to be someone else, we may presume that the following types of this crime are committed: criminal, financial, medical identity theft, identity cloning, child identity theft, etc.Generally, identities can be stolen by using name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, credit or debit card number, personal identification number, passwords, parent’s legal surname prior to marriage, etc. Most frequently, criminals involved in identity theft use social security number and name to commit such type of a crime (Schmalleger 135). Impact of identity theft on victims varies from psychological aspects to more serious financial aspects. Irritation, anger, mistrust, paranoia, distress, frustration, anxiety, fear and helplessness are only a few of various possible consequences of such a crime on average people. Damaged credit, financial loss, crime on record, social and medical security problems are even more complicated aftermath of such illegal activity. In order to reduce detrimental impact of identity theft crime on victims’ lives, it is advisable to increase awareness of such crimes existence in modern world. Another thing that can be implemented is more strict legal measures against perpetrators involved in this activity: this may help people feel more secure and less vulnerable. Creation of support groups for the victims of identity theft is another possible solution to the problem.
To conclude with, identity theft belongs to such a category of crimes that sufficiently affects victim’s lives. But detrimental impact of this crime can be reduced with creation of the support groups, increased awareness of people and implementation of more strict legal measures.