A Word from Paul Chamberlain

Identity Theft: The Crime of the Future

Although identity theft costs the United States economy approximately 2 billion dollars every year, it is hardly given the attention it deserves. Most people believe that a simple telephone call to their credit card company can clear up the situation. It may take a little time but usually the credit card company will take the brunt of the losses while the victim pays nothing. However, there are two more aspects of identity theft that are much more difficult to amend. Debit-card theft takes a direct hit on one’s bank account and not on the credit card company. The second, and more serious form of identity theft is outright identity takeover, not only using your credit card or bank account information, but also your birth date, driver’s license number, and Social Security Number. This can lead to years, even decades of trying to clear your name of bad credit and, in some cases, public records reflecting activities an imposter has perpetrated in a victim’s name.

Identity theft has become the nation’s fastest growing white-collar crime in the United States. It is estimated that there will be 500,000 to 700,000 victims this year alone. Although you can minimize your risk of identity theft by managing your propriety information wisely and with heightened sensitivity, it is difficult to stop a determined thief. The methods these thieves use to obtain your information can range from basic street theft to the use of sophisticated organized crime schemes involving computerized databases or the bribing of employees with access to customer or personnel records. Information such as your Social Security Number can even be bought and sold on-line. With this information, the imposters are able to open up new credit card accounts, hijack your existing accounts, rent an apartment, take out a loan, or even engage in criminal activities while using your information to hide their true identities from authorities.

Unfortunately, due to the high number of identity thefts occurring each year, victims get little or no help from the authorities. Law enforcement does not have sufficient resources to fully investigate the majority of such crimes and priority is usually given to more violent illegal activity. However, many criminals and organized crime rings are moving to identity theft because they are aware of law enforcement’s limited resources and the general public being uneducated about the growing problem. Credit grantors, banks, and the three main Credit Reporting Agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) also provide little help, being hard to reach and paying minimal attention to these cases unless they (CRA) might suffer a large financial loss. Victims also have reported that flagging their credit report for fraud does not always stop the imposter from obtaining more credit.

Though there are methods individuals and/or companies can use to avoid the occurrence of identity theft, they do not have the capacity to stop this problem completely on their own. As a world renowned investigative services and security consulting firm, Paul Chamberlain International can help prevent this crime from occurring or can minimize your loss if you become a victim of identity theft. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding our services, please feel free to contact us.


Paul Chamberlain