The Dayton Daily News has a good article up interviewing the victims of identity theft and describing how their lives have changed because of it. Although we’re all concerned by the murky underworld of Eastern European hackers that prey upon badly secured financial records, the article is a good reminder that most identity theft actually originates with people close to you: friends, relatives and (natch) employees of the very institutions you trust to keep your financial details safe.
- Seven years after a bank employee stole her financial identity to charge $35,000 on credit cards and buy a new car, Smith is still fighting to clear her name and maintain her credit rating.
“The last seven years have been extremely stressful, and I don’t know if it’s ever going to go away completely,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, not even my perpetrator,” who was prosecuted, convicted and jailed for her crime.
Even so, Smith said she has had to rely on the FBI to quell angry calls from collection agencies and letters from creditors who want to put a lien on her property.
The article mentions that 4% of all Americans have had their identity stolen. Not a small number by any means. How can companies like Citibank or Aetna or any of the dozens of other companies we’ve covered over the last few months get away with violating our trust in them when identity theft is a $56.6 billion a year industry?
Identity theft can be a plague on your house [Dayton Daily News]