When Identity Theft Hits Home

Strangers Aren't the Only Ones Who Commit Identity Theft

Identity theft is an increasingly common crime. When most of us think of the people who commit identity theft, we think of criminals who go dumpster diving or who steal our information via high-tech computerized means. However, the face of identity theft criminals may be more familiar than you think. Oftentimes, the victims of identity theft are victimized by someone close to home.

You Might Be Surprised

If you’re the victim of identity theft, don’t be surprised if you discover that the criminal was someone you work with or even a friend or family member. Sometimes people who commit identity theft really don’t mean to harm the people whose identities they steal, they just don’t realize the gravity of their actions.

Why They Do It

If someone can’t get credit or utilities in their name and they have access to the personal information of a co-worker, a friend or a family member, they may use that information to establish the credit or utilities they need -- resulting in identity theft.

Perhaps they need to get credit for a car repair or perhaps they need to establish electrical service. Whatever the reason, they usually don’t do it to profit off of the victim. In fact, they usually intend to pay the bills on time each and every month. In their minds, this doesn’t hurt the victim at all. However, if and when the person who commits the identity theft can’t pay the bill, that’s when trouble starts.

What to Do About It

If you’ve been the victim of identity theft and you know the person who committed the crime, it is up to you as to whether or not you report them. A crime was committed, but things can get complicated when friends and family are involved. How you and your family handle the identity theft is a personal decision that only you can make.

Regardless of how the identity theft situation is handled, the person who committed the crime needs to realize how serious his or her actions were and they should be held responsible for the damage done to your credit and the bills that they incurred. Only by holding the person who committed the identity theft responsible will you ensure that they learn from their mistake.

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