Well, actually the article, from research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc., doesn’t say that. But it does say Identity Theft Is Up Nearly 80 Percent, and that 7 Million U.S. Adults Were Identity Theft Victims in the Past 12 Months. Which seems to be a lot. That’s 3.4 percent of U.S. consumers, I can’t help feeling.
With identity theft, a thief takes over a consumer’s entire identity by stealing critical private information, such as the Social Security number, driver’s license number, address, credit card number or bank account number. The thief can then use the stolen information to obtain illegal loans or credit lines to buy goods and services under the stolen name. Identity thieves typically change the consumer’s mailing address to hide their activities.
The sick bit is this: “More than half of all identity theft – where the method of theft is documented – is committed by criminals that have established relationships with their victims, such as family members, roommates, neighbors, or co-workers,” said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director for Gartner. I can’t believe my own mother might do this kind of thing.