Identity Theft: Social Security And Credit Cards (Essay Sample)
Using a word processor and citing your work, write an 800-word essay.
The topic is Identity Theft. What is it and how do you protect yourself?
Reminder: Cite all of your work. Non-cited papers are not graded.
Identity theft, alternatively known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter wrongfully acquires and uses another individual's personal data in ways which involve deception and fraud, primarily for economic gain (Smith 273). Identity theft normally involves personal information like one's social security, credit card, or bank account number and any other valuable information that can be utilized to identify an individual. The greatest problem in curbing identity theft is the fact that in identity theft, the victim is normally the one who must incur the subsequent cost (Smith, 301).
By standard definition, identity theft is what transpires when an individual, separate from oneself, without the victim's knowledge, acquires and utilizes their private information primarily for economic gain. Shockingly, little information is required to impersonate an unknowing victim (Hoar 80). The required keys to one's identity are their Social Security Number and name. Since many databases in contemporary society are linked to this number, once obtained, it is practically effortless to pass oneself off as the unknowing victim. Nonetheless, an accumulation of separate information can work equally well – previous or current address, biographical information, birth date, occupation, telephone number et cetera (Davis 12). Once identifying data is obtained, applying for credit cards, closing and opening accounts, and making purchases becomes straightforward.
Crooks have always utilized identity theft to perpetrate embezzlements and other kinds of fraud, but have been significantly boosted by the extensive use of the internet. Identity thieves apply for and receive multiple automobile loans, personal loans, credit cards, and various accounts in the victim's name (Sharp et al. 1). They use these accounts to the maximum then never make payments. This is especially simple to do over the internet with its self-regulating nature and the incapability of physically confirming an applicant's identity (Sharp et al. 4). These counterfeit accounts can add to hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Once these accounts are overdue, collectors pester the unknowing victims for payments. The victim is then inconvenienced by these collections and at worst; their life quality is irretrievably damaged – and usually, they undergo a prolonged, costly, and painful procedure to mend their tarnished name (Sharp et al. 6).
Fortunately, steps can be adopted which can prote
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