The modern financial system is designed to be convenient and practical to use for average consumer. However, this also increases risks in the financial world, because identity thieves will be able to find likely weaknesses in the system. The online access to financial database is also aimed to make things for average people to manage their finances, but this also opens a new path for malicious intents by criminals. Identity thefts through online methods can be quite difficult to prosecute, because perpetrators are often anonymous through different layers of digital proxies. It takes a lot of time and effort to track down a skilled identity thief. Stolen or lost personal mail, social security number, checkbook and credit card often open a way for criminal activities with a goal for financial gains.

Consumers are able to prevent such an occurrence from happening to them. They need to be aware of typical bank frauds, such as online bank phishing and cheque scams. They need to know what kinds of problems that usually occur and how they can be addressed once discovered. On average, a victim may spend 50 hours and more than $1,000 to resolve a typical case of identity theft. As online methods for handling financial matters will continue to increase, there won’t be a decrease of identity theft trends. There will always be millions of new users of online financial services who may not be aware that they are likely victims of identity thefts and online frauds. In fact, many identity thieves find that stealing personal information is getting easier, because millions of new targets present themselves each year.

You should check whether there’s a local database or registry about past cases of identity theft. In some cases, the number of cases is highly underreported, so you may not be able to get the real picture of the situation. This often happens because victims don’t report their cases to the local police department or other law enforcement agencies. The local police force may also not be equipped with tools and expertise to deal with identity theft. In this case, only significant identity theft cases that may be handled and addressed. That is also the reason why we are seeing low proportion of convictions and prosecutions related to identity theft. The government may lack the ability to fully define specific crimes in the area and there’s no law or regulation that cover them to continue with the legal investigations and prosecutions.

It is important for victims of identity theft to work closely with credit bureaus and creditors, if these cases of identity theft are related financial matter. Negative information can also be left behind in victim’s financial records, necessitating complete removal of things that they haven’t done in the past. It is even possible for some victims to face imprisonment or fines for crimes that they didn’t commit. The best method is to stay proactive and take steps to prevent the possible incidence of identity theft. This is a much easier thing to do than trying to resolve issues that already take place.

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