Identity Theft: This Time It's IMPORTANT
Identity theft has become so rampant that the public has gotten numb to it. This numbness makes the retail and finance industries — and the pathetic agencies that are supposedly “regulating” them — even less likely to ever tackle the problem. But this time it’s different. In this most recent scandal, some Very Important People have had their financial information and Social Security numbers stolen. Oh My God, we have to do something.
Bank of America has lost some computer data tapes containing the personal information of 1.2 million federal employees, including some U.S. Senators. Maybe now they’ll take the problem seriously.
Last week 145,000 Americans had their personal information “lost” by ChoicePoint, a trafficker of personal data.
Last year nearly 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft. This cost the nation $5 billion, and that price doesn’t even include lost productivity. Identity theft victims soon find out how few laws (and how ineffective they are) are regulating the data brokers who gather and sell financial and personal information.
The average identity theft victim spends 600 hours and $16,000 — over a several-year period — recovering from the results of identity theft.
Beyond the numbers, identity theft victims are left with feelings of helplessness and vulnerability, knowing that this same catastrophe could strike again at any time.