Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You Know Your Identity Thief

The Wolf in the Fold

Victims of identity theft often find that someone they know has committed the crime. Roommates, hired help, and landlords all have access to your home, and it is possible for them to access private information. Identity theft within families is also fairly common. This causes particular difficulties, because victims may be reluctant to notify the authorities or press charges. People are especially vulnerable when ending relationships with roommates and spouses (FRBB).
Handing your credit card number to a waiter or mail-order representative is necessary to charge something but I have raised an eyebrow when hearing that someone lent a credit card to a friend. Honest people sometimes get surprised by fraud because they go about their day without deception in mind. The other pitfall is the relationship that goes sour. Potential spite and revenge are good arguments against joint accounts. The identity-theft issue fits with long-standing debates about lending money to friends and merging finances with spouses.

Next: Freezing Credit To Stop Identity Theft: Good or Bad for Savers?

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