Major research company Gartner Inc estimates that only 1 in 700 identity thieves ever gets apprehended. It appears that in Oregon they found that one.

The Associated Press reported one one identity theft criminal that arrived at a local bank to cash a check. What makes this story so bizarre is the thief was caught by the person he had been victimizing. It appears they were in the bank to dispute the bogus charges which were on their financial statement.

Unfortunately for many others who have had their identity stolen there's no chance of them coming face to face with the thief and by some miracle apprehending them. Identity fraud is a crime that affects over 8 million people per year. While certain forms of identity theft like check fraud are on the decline the same cannot be said for other types like phishing websites which have seen a sharp increase. In fact technological advances have made identity fraud that much easier.

The ability to steal personal information has also reached cell phone users where downloading certain apps can result in sensitive data you've stored in your phone getting hijacked and sent to remote servers where thieves are waiting to record that information such as online banking logins and password.

The good thing is there are resources out there which can be of great assistance. In 1998 Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. This made identity theft a federal offense and with this comes harsher penalties whenever identity thieves are seized and convicted.

In addition it put the Federal Trade Commission commonly referred to as the FTC at the forefront of combating identity fraud. The FTC and in particular their internet site is chock full of information such as prevention, videos and news item updates. Over the last ten years they have performed a remarkable job in their work to educate the general public on just how firmly and deeply this particular crime has become in this country and the measures needed to protect from it.

A key feature was the creation of the Identity Theft Clearinghouse data bank. This is an on line repository designed to help local and federal law enforcement officials. All complaints about identity fraud are automatically recorded into the database which is kept up to date continuously.

One other thing this legislation has done to aid consumers with any credit issues they may have trouble resolving. Even when they are fully aware you've been victimized credit agencies for reasons all their own are still slow to act with regards to clearing it from your personal records. This process might get speeded up once you have the federal government backing you up.

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