Monday, February 25, 2013

The most vulnerable to Identity theft

I was watching an advertisement on TV about how there are websites around the world where people's identities are auctioned off to the highest bidder. However, most people don't know who is the most vulnerable to this and it might not be those who you think.

There are at least two kinds of reasons for identity theft:
1. People want a passport with your identity to use your social security number to get jobs in the U.S.
2. People want to steal money using the existing credit card limits and atm accounts of adults.

So, in the first case they want the identities of children in the U.S. who have social security numbers so those numbers won't be flagged by 2 people using the same number. So, people look for kids aged 2 to 15 for this purpose. Mostly people working illegally in the U.S. do this so they have a valid Social Security number.

In the second case the most stolen identities are college students with their first credit cards because they don't really know what they are doing yet with credit cards and are unlikely to have safety systems in place where services are daily checking for abuse of their credit cards.

The movie "Identity Thief" isn't very realistic because people in their thirties identities are not sold very often at all because there is too much risk in stealing identities of people in their 30s up to their 70s or so. Because people aren't stupid usually and often companies will hire someone to literally hunt down and eliminate secretly people around the world who keep stealing identities. So, people who engage in this realize someone may come and kill them if they steal the identities of the wrong or (wealthier people) because either companies will find a way to eliminate them through private detectives or bounty hunters or sometimes even the people whose identities are stolen will eliminate these people. In the movie "Identity Thief" this man was a gentleman. But some people wouldn't think twice about making people disappear who steal their identities (especially after some of the problems that are created for them as a result).

Also, as a side note I noticed that many people in 1985 and 1986 who were traveling in Thailand, India, Nepal etc. who were white from Europe and the western countries like the U.S. and Canada did not look at all like their passport pictures. Whether this was because they had gotten their passports when they were much younger or whether it was because it was someone else's passport they were traveling on I do not know. However, it is true that Asian people (east Indian, and all other Asian people's might have a harder time identifying white people just like white people might have a harder time identifying people of other races.

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