Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New York Fights Against Identity Theft

WSJ.com: "The effort by a major metropolitan district attorney comes as law-enforcement and industry experts agree that specialized training is needed to combat a problem that affects about 10 million Americans annually. Critics, including many victims, say not enough cases are prosecuted and there is little deterrence or risk for those who steal identities.
Assistant District Attorney Antonia Merzon, co-chief of the new unit, says authorities have been hampered in the past by criminals who switch to new scams as soon as old ones have been detected. 'This type of crime is historically a cat-and-mouse game between criminals and law enforcement,' she says. 'There's a lot of ingenuity on the part of the criminal doing this, basically because the financial gain is so massive.'
In a 2003 survey, the Federal Trade Commission estimated that businesses had lost $48 billion and consumers $5 billion in the course of one year as a result of identity theft."

The figures for 2004, when compiled, are bound to be much higher. "Phishing" was barely on the radar at the end of 2003.



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