Identity Theft Fueling Violent Crime

Identity theft has developed into a very serious problem with the advent of the internet. Computers are now used for the majority of business and financial transactions and identity theft has caused losses worth millions of dollars to companies and private individuals. Identity theft can take many forms but it normally means the stealing of credit card numbers, or of bank account information, to purchase goods and services online or to illegally take out loans.

The Relationship Between Identity Theft And Violent Crime

It has been acknowledged that identity crime is not of violent nature and this means that it's often not taken that seriously by law enforcement. However, the relationship between identity theft and violent crime is in fact well established and Federal Agencies worldwide should spend extensive resources to try to put an end to this menace.

Any person with another person's information can misuse it to their benefit. This is an extensive problem in countries with a large proportion of illegal immigrants, who because they have no proper documents and are officially declared as aliens, can use the information to establish residency.  More devious criminals can use such information to buy ammunition, or facilitate the trafficking of people or substances. Furthermore, the fraud money that they have made can be used to fund more serious crimes such as murder and extortion.

How to Prevent Yourself From Being A Victim Of Identity Theft

Protection from identity theft is not full proof, but there are a number of ways to avoid being victimized. It is imperative that you never divulge any personal information about yourself to strangers and all correspondence between banks, credit cards and other important agencies you deal with should be kept securely.

Pay particular attention to the charities and funds that you give money to. Recheck their validity with the local governments or city councils before you pledge any money for their causes. However, these precautions will not guarantee that you do not fall victim. Con artists have a myriad ways to tap resources which are seemingly hard to crack, and it is important that you remain diligent and always be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.

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Stay up-to-date on all system updates.

Don't download any email attachments you weren't expecting.

Avoid freeware and peer-to-peer sharing sites.

Use alternative web browsers and email software.