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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Identity theft's top states

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/18/2006

The article itself was not terribly interesting. It is about identity theft and calling it the modern day bank robbery.
Sophisticated and ingenious techniques have allowed these modern-day crooks to use thousands of stolen identities to drain billions from banks and other financial institutions. Meanwhile, the average stickup guy gets about $7,200 in a bank heist, according to the FBI, and is more likely to get caught.

"Not only dollar for dollar, they get more money this way, but it's [also] safer," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman of Houston, who prosecuted many of the 30 conspirators in the Bank One fraud case.

Identity theft has become the most common way to steal from a bank.
A 2003 Federal Trade Commission report estimated identity theft losses to financial institutions at $47 billion, roughly the combined gross domestic products of Afghanistan, Madagascar and Jamaica.

In comparison, there are about 7,600 bank robberies a year, amounting to roughly $77 million in losses to the institutions, according to the FBI.
What was interesting was the graphic CNN provided.

I am well aware of the fallacies regarding correlational theories, but I still find it interesting that 3 of the top 4 states for rates of identity theft occur in border states (Arizona, California and Texas). Yes, two of those states have very big population centers...but Arizona doesn't, at least not enough to explain their residing in the top 4 of highest rates of identity fraud.

I am certain there a ton of explanations why these are NOT tied in any manner to illegal immigration. I happen to believe a large factor of the distribution of identity fraud state-by-state is explained with illegal immigration.

Just some thoughts to chew on.


Blogger minntelect said...

Arizona is in the top four because of its number of elderly residents. The elderly are targeted by identity theives because they are (1) more vulnerable; (2) more trustworthy; (3) physically easier to steal from (like a purse or wallet, which is where most people keep their identification); and (4) more financially secure (i.e., higher credit ratings, meaning that their identities will obtain more credit at higher limits).

As someone with a background in this field, trust me when I say this has NOTHING to do with illegal immigration.

May 18, 2006  
Blogger Tony said...

Your point is taken (re: AZ). I was not thinking of the victim characteristics of the whole thing and was focused on possible aggrevating factors on the perpetrator side of the issue.

Any thoughts on the "profile" of perps that help explain why the border states are at the top?

May 18, 2006  

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