Avoid becoming another Hopeless Victim of Bank Identity Theft
Ever wonder how identity theft occurs? It is actually quite fascinating, if it is not a very malicious and dangerous crime.
Identity theft occurs once a thief assumes another person’s identity by using confidential information supposed to be known exclusively by that person. The thief will commit fraud using the person's name and important confidential information without the victim ever knowing about such transactions.
When the person or victim finally finds out about the crime committed, the thief is long gone in excruciating anonymity. They leave behind a ruined reputation, and a paper trail of ruined credit, debts and collectors.
The past several years brought about an alarming wave of identity theft crimes in different areas dealing with personal information and economic transactions.
One of the target areas of identity theft crimes are banks. Bank identity theft has been around long before there were credit card, social security, internet, job banks, airline and medical community identity thefts.
Bank identity theft occurrences vary. Some cases involve a thief continuously withdrawing huge amounts of cash from a bank account of another person until there is none left. Another case may involve the identity thief assuming the name and other personal information of another person then files for a bank loan.
Armed with personal information of another person, an identity thief can obtain a driver's license. He can open new lines of credit and bank accounts even buy a car and get a mortgage. Bills and statements from these transactions are diverted to the thief's temporary address.
They then bilk the victim’s credit line for all it is worth in cash advances, loans and credit card debt without intent to pay. All these occur with the thief hidden in a shroud of anonymity.
Bank identity theft and other forms of identity theft is a nightmare for millions of people who have become victims of such crime. Indeed, the figures of those victimized have reached into millions already. Sadly, though state and federal laws and stricter bank transactions have been imposed, the number of victims continues to rise each year. Click HERE for our new article on the changes in the bank laws and what to do about it.
When the walls come crashing in, you are left holding the bag and the thief is long gone. Financial recovery from identity theft can take years.
In United States and Canada, many people have reported unauthorized persons taking out funds form their bank or financial accounts. There are even worst cases when the victims report of an identity thief who has totally taken over their identities. With it, the thief have run up huge debts and committed crimes all under the name of the victim.
There was a notorious case of identity theft wherein the criminal, a convicted felon incurred more than $100,000 of credit card debt. Aside from this, the felon also obtained a federal home loan, bought homes, motorcycles, and handguns using the victim's name.
With maniacal pride, he called his victim to taunt him. He declared that he could continue posing as the victim for as long as he wanted. During that time, identity theft was not yet a federal crime. Then, the thief filed for bankruptcy still using the victim’s name.
Very bitter was the fact that the criminal only served a brief sentence while the victim and his wife spent more than four years to restore their reputation and credit. They also spent more than $15,000 of their own money to win back their credit. The criminal did not even made restitution for all the danger he had caused.
The only positive thing that came out of this case and the others similar to this is when the Congress created a new federal offense against identity theft in 1998.
Here are several red flags that indicate you may be a victim of identity theft:
1. There are bills for a credit card account you did not open.
2. There are notice charges, which you did not authorize on your credit card statement
3. No bills and credit card statements arrive on the days you expect them.
4. Unauthorized transfers or withdrawals on your bank statements show.
5. Notifications from collection agency about accounts you never opened.
6. Calls or notices from businesses about merchandise you did not buy.
7. Debts showing up on your credit reports that you did not file.