What Makes Identity Theft So Gut-wrenching?

August 19, 2009

When I talk to people about identity theft the usual issue that pops into their mind is money that would be stolen. And many times they’ll just say their credit is so bad that no one would want to steal their identity anyway.

One of the biggest issues with id theft is the mess it can make out of your personal finances and the way this mess can leave you labeled as a deadbeat. The emotional devastation this brings on can be way worse than any financial issues.

I ran across a blog post recently that was written by a 20-something gal named Elyssa. Her income tax return had been rejected several years in a row.  Her admitted ignorance of what to do (if anything) led the problem to go on for years. Her post tells of her mission to get it resolved.

Here’s a little excerpt:

When taken into account the substantial cost to society, not to mention the havoc it wreaked on my life, I respectfully think that maybe you should not assume that someone is making false claims just because you don’t think it sounds "right."


Lots of things don’t "sound right" however that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. Gotta go now, I have a date with eBay to auction my social security card to the highest bidder. Clearly, it is not worth anything to me so long as the authorities fail to do their part in ENFORCING the laws associated with Identity theft. Sure, it is easy to blame the victim as being irresponsible or somehow negligent in these situations, however I will refer you to some fascinating research that has been done on the emotional consequences of Identity theft. The cost is far more than just an issue of financial discomfort; it is something that can ultimately leave you questioning your own identity.

Don’t poke your head in the sand and pretent it can’t happen to you.


Got something to say?