January 14, 2008
Illegal immigration has become a major player in the identity theft ballpark. Because of the easy access thieves have to steal identities, illegal immigrants are able to obtain a ‘new identity’ quicker and cheaper.
Illegals aren’t buying identities to wipe out bank accounts or open huge lines of credit. They need them to get a job and a driver’s license. People using a fraudulent identity to get a job often use it to also obtain utility services, government benefits, medical care and credit.
Illegal immigrants who buy identities are mostly good people looking for a better life in the United States. When they buy an identity on the black market, they are often told that the documentation is for a person who is dead, who never existed or who left the country and sold his paperwork. The majority of them are quite naive and believe they aren’t harming anyone.
However, their motives aren’t going to help you one bit if it happens to be your identity that’s stolen.
Imagine getting a nasty-gram from the IRS saying you owe back taxes – a lot of them. Now you know you’ve paid your taxes because who wants to get into a tiff with the IRS? But if many illegals are using your social security number and not paying taxes, that income is reported as yours.
It gets even worse than that.
You could get arrested because crimes were committed by someone using your name. Even when you can prove you were peacefully minding your own business at the time of the crime, you still have to clean up the mess and clear your name.
Now you’re the victim but the attitude you’ll find while attempting to restore your identity is that you’re a deadbeat trying to get away with something. You’ll have to continuously prove your innocence… possibly for years. The financial and emotional toll is high.
It’s no surprise that the states that border Mexico – Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California have the highest rates of identity theft. Florida is right in there too because of it’s influx of immigrants from the Caribbean Islands.
The only thing you can personally do to protect yourself from becoming a victim is to put some kind of identity theft protection in place. You can do many things yourself such as fraud alerts or security freezes.
Other options are protection from companies like LifeLock, Trusted ID or Identity Guard. These companies will place fraud alerts for you and make sure they are always renewed. They offer insurance and valuable assistance from specialists if your identity is stolen.
Identity Guard has a feature most plans lack. They will monitor the internet’s black markets, chat rooms and emails for unauthorized use of your social security number and other personal information. This is typically something that would be very difficult to do yourself.
Become proactive in protecting yourself from identity theft. It’s a crime only going to become more common as years go by.