We hear the statistics about identity theft frequently. According to the FTC, more than 10 million people in the United States were victims of identity theft in 2008, and the number has risen as identity thieves continue to take advantage of people who are feeling desperate during tough economic times. More than 50% of the victims who responded to an FTC survey in 2007 said they did not even know how their identity was stolen. That was the case in many of the identity theft horror stories included below.
Child Identity Theft
Some of the saddest stories come from young victims whose identity was stolen and misused before they were even old enough to take out a credit card. One young woman named Jennifer was a victim of child identity theft at the age of 10. In just six years, her credit report was full of credit cards and other charges, even the mortgage to a home! Because she did not find out that her credit was ruined until much later, she has had to spend years trying to correct the damage. She is not alone; there are many similar stories about identity theft.
Repairing the Damage
One writer on the Internet became part of these identity theft horror stories three years ago. Since then, he is still being harassed as the identity thieves continue trying to use his identity to take out loans and credit cards. Even though someone was eventually arrested for the crime, the victim has been forced to travel all over his state to complete mountains of paperwork. He has had to watch his credit score sink even lower through no fault of his own.
Even More Serious Concerns
When most of us think of identity theft horror stories, we think of people losing all of their money or having their credit scores ruined. But there are even more serious problems that can occur. An MSNBC story in 2003 focused on a man named Malcolm who was wrongfully accused of and arrested for cocaine possession with intent to distribute. Five years earlier, a man had begun using his name when he was arrested for crimes. Although the real Malcolm was fortunate to eventually straighten the mess out after spending two horrifying nights in jail, not all victims are so lucky.
The purpose of these stories is to help you understand how important it is to protect your identity and the identity of your children. You do not want to end up being the star of your own horror story.