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Identity Theft

The crime of identity theft often includes unauthorized use of credit or debit cards, but can entail considerably more invasive acts for the victim than that. Called the crime of the new millennium and being well-publicized in the media, identity theft has been increasing over the last few years. The Federal Trade Commission has called it the fastest growing crime in the country. There are several possible reasons for its growth. The rise of the Internet and availability of personal information on the Internet appears to be a factor, although some methods of identity theft do not involve the Internet. One factor is the rapid granting of credit when presented with an application and the lack of verification that all information on the application is true and that the person presenting the application is the person whose information is on the application. Another is the proliferation of personal information collected by various institutions and business and the lack of security in some of those systems.