Mitigating identity theft

Monday, 18 April 2005, 9:51 AM EST

Identity theft is the new crime of the information age. A criminal collects enough personal data on someone to impersonate a victim to banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions. Then he racks up debt in the person's name, collects the cash, and disappears. The victim is left holding the bag. While some of the losses are absorbed by financial institutions -- credit card companies in particular -- the credit-rating damage is borne by the victim. It can take years for the victim to clear his name.

By Bruce Schneier.

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