Identity theft, though not usually a crime involving an individual’s physical safety, can still destroy a victim’s reputation and good community standing. It affects our entire persona, if you will. As if being a victim of crime is not enough, identity theft is distinctive as a crime in that there is an initial presumption of guilt. A victim must establish beyond “reasonable doubt” that they are innocent of any wrongdoing.
Identity Theft as a Crime
Maybe You Didn’t Know
• From 2005 to 2009, 500 million records from government and corporate sources were compromised because of data breaches (Javelin Strategy and Research, 2009).
• Thefts as a result of stolen purses, wallets or hardcopy paperwork accounted for 43 percent of total thefts (Javelin Strategy and Research, 2009).
• Seven percent of all identity thefts were medical identity thefts. (AARP)
• In 2010, personal information thefts unrelated to money were 29.4 percent of total thefts (U.S. Department of Justice, 2011).
• Child identity theft occurs at the rate of 20,000 cases per year (reported by the FTC).
These statistics do not begin to represent all of the cases of identity fraud. It is estimated that each year there are approximately 2 million cases of stolen identities from the dead.