Taking the offensive on identity theft

Thursday, 29 May 2003, 1:22 PM EST

Catch Me If You Can wasn't just a hit at the movies this winter. It's also the modus operandi of a growing band of street criminals and their hacker allies who trade in consumer credit card information, Social Security numbers and other confidential data that are stored inside organizations and wash across millions of Web sites every day.

The Tennessee Senate recently passed a bill that is designed to help protect veterans from identity theft by removing Social Security numbers from courthouse public records. Identity theft is reaching alarming proportions and needs to be taken seriously by all organizations - before it happens.

As most other types of crime are declining, identity theft is booming. It doubled to roughly 162,000 cases last year and is now the leading consumer fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. As many as 700,000 consumers may be victims of identity theft this year, costing each person an average of $1,000.

There are several key causes. More consumer and commercial data are online to meet the requirements of on-demand business. Automating business cuts costs, speeds service and allows organizations to reach customers, suppliers and partners more easily.

[ Read more ]

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