Having your identity stolen in theft is an ongoing challenge. Many people believe identity theft is merely about credit and money. I thought the same way before I was properly educated that this is the fastest growing crime in the land. For 11 years in a row identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint in the United States. To make its importance worse, children could be the primary targets since thieves know a large number of children's identities are not being monitored. Our seniors are the second most targeted. After these, follow those that have been arrested for any reason.
There are industries that thrive on providing your identification information to the entire world. One of these industries is the online mugshot industry. If you have been arrested since 1989, the online mugshot industry is interested in showing your personal information such as address, date of birth, and
social security number to the entire world. This information places those so depicted at risk of having their identities stolen. The online mugshot industry does not care about this;
they only want you to pay them to remove the information they, themselves, placed online that places you at risk. This is extortion.
Although I am no longer a kid, nor am I a senior, I was definitely a victim of identity theft. Let me state this: it was not at all easy trying to help prove my innocence. Thank goodness I was not a victim of what is called "criminal id theft" or I would have jailed for something I did not do. Speaking of which, there was a girl (a senior citizen) who ended up being a victim of this serious crime. She is a grandmother of two and retired vice president of a well-known bank. Just before having her ID stolen, she told police in the town she lives in that her personal information had been placed online by the mugshot industry. Soon after, the police rang her doorbell and arrested her. She was arrested for committing check fraud.
Many months were required for this woman to clear her name, which resulted in several weeks in jail. This woman spent over $50,000 on legal fees. Most of us do not have that kind of money saved, especially in this bad economy. All of this occurred because the online mugshot industry placed the woman’s information online when the woman had been previously arrested for an overlooked and unpaid traffic ticket. What would have happened if she did not have money? This woman, now enjoying her pension, still suffers even today because of her identity being stolen by the online mugshot industry. The police in her town still do not believe that she is innocent because her name was used when the fraud had been committed. If authorities cannot pin it on her, whom do the police accuse? Where do they even begin to look?
There was another incident where a young woman, a mother of three small children, had her identity stolen when the online mugshot industry put her information online. She was never robbed and victimized, so she thought, yet she was a victim of what is called Medical Identity Theft. "How could this have happened," this woman wondered. Local authorities as well as CPS came knocking at her door threatening to take her children away.