Identity Theft – Victimizing Millions of Americans Every Year

The Internet may have been able to make communication and the exchange of information so much faster; however, this is not the only activity it has aided to be accomplished and completed with astonishing ease and speed – another is the committance of crimes, such as identity theft.

About 10 million Americans fall prey to the crime of identity theft every year, losing their savings to thieves who deplete their accounts. The end result is always an individual with a damaged credit and, sometimes, a huge debt.

Identity theft is a major threat to many individuals and businesses. This illegal activity refers to the illegal acquisition and use of someone else’s personal information for economic gain. More than $50 billion in losses from as many as 10 million working Americans are recorded every year; this amount is almost equal to what U.S. firms spend in order to prevent attempts of identity thieves from gaining (unauthorized) access to their files and data banks.

To battle identity theft, however, it is necessary that companies, especially those possessing information about personal and business accounts, come up with a serious and solid program that will enable them to easily and immediately detect and stop this crime.

To intensify the fight against this illegal activity, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) was enacted by the New Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the conduction of an Identity Theft Prevention Course (ITPC) to business firms. The ITPC is designed to train employees assigned in handing consumer information in red flag rules.

The Red Flags Rule is a warning sign intended to help businesses recognize, minimize and prevent damages created through identity theft. It forms part of the FTC-required Identity Theft Prevention program, which is a set of printed guidelines which financial institutions and creditors with covered accounts ought to execute. These covered accounts refer to consumer accounts that allow payments or transactions. Examples of these accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit card account, mortgage loan and automobile loan. Through this red flags rule, companies are expected to see through the patterns and tactics employed by identity thieves in the performance of their crime.

As explained by Horst Law, regardless of the type of crime charged, in order to sustain a conviction, the prosecution must have enough evidence to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Different crimes have specific elements.

If you face any type of criminal charges, it’s critical that you consult with a knowledgeable criminal attorney as soon as possible. The earlier you avail yourself of sound legal advice, the more options you may have for addressing it and saving yourself.