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Michael Sanders Professor Jan Rieman English 1102 Date: April 4, 2012 Self-assessment I think that this paper was really well written compared to past papers. This has to be the first time I feel like I did an actual research paper. After I had finished my first draft I really did not think it would need as much revision as I did. After I fully read through my paper I noticed many errors that were so obvious. The peer workshop helped me find many of these errors and suggested many things that helped enhance my paper. Overall I find that my peer workshops really helped and I was able to revise and edit many things. This has to most thought I have put into revising a paper but I have to say that it feels like it really paid off.
Michael Sanders Professor Jan Rieman English 1102 Date: April 4, 2012 Identity Theft: Why do they do it and what are its affects? In the past Identity Theft was not considered a major crime even though it was happening to thousands of people. Identity theft has grown a lot over the years and now people are more aware than ever. Identity theft is a major crime that involves someone stealing someone else’s identity. This crime can literally destroy someone’s life. What would you do if all of you life’s hard work and hard earned money is taken away from you within a matter of seconds? That is a question you all should be thinking about because if your identity is taken and you don’t do anything to get it back then it is gone for good or until the thieves decide they are done with it. It is always best to act as soon as you see any signs of identity theft happening to you. Identity thieves are capable of getting to other’s personal information in many different ways. One of the easiest and fastest ways for the thieves to get your personal information would be through the internet. Most identity thieves are very smart and have many tricks up their sleeves. They have many different ways to trick people into falling into their traps. One trick they use is called “phishing” and what they do is send fake e-mails to different people. The way they trick them is by designing the e-mail to look professional and real. What I mean by
that is that some thieves are able to design an e-mail to look and they try to trick the users into giving out their personal information. To defend yourself from this scam, it is best if you pay close attention to what emails you are opening and viewing. If you notice anything suspicious, like the senders email looks similar to a personal email, then it is more than likely a person trying to trick you into giving them your information.
www.creditscore.net, Web. 4 April 2012. It can be real easy to fall into these traps that I talked about because sometimes it is hard to spot them. I have fallen victim to one of these traps and one thing I have to say is, always be on the lookout for suspicious emails. What had happened was I was having a problem with a product I bought online and I had contacted the company through email and I was waiting for a response. I had done this before so I knew that I had to give them my credit card information. Later on that day I had received an email from what I thought was the company saying that I was missing some information so they could not help me yet. I sent them another email with my information on it, but guess what it was not them. I found out this because minutes later the actual company had responded back. I was a little worried because I know what I had just did, I had given the thieves all of my cards information. I knew that the
first thing to do was to call my bank and cancel my card. I was in a very serious situation and many things could have happened, if I did not respond like. I could have lost all of my money in my bank account or worse. If you are ever in a similar situation just remember to call your bank to cancel your card so you can stop the thieves dead in their tracks. Do you keep your personal information in your computer; if you do then you might want to pay attention to this. There are also ways in which thieves can access your computer without you even knowing. The ways that they do this is through different computer viruses. There are some viruses that are used to take control of other’s computers and many times you get these by visiting a virus infested website or download. Of course many of you know that the best defense for viruses would be anti-virus programs for your computer. Now you just cannot expect to have an anti-virus program and never get a virus because in order to be completely protected you must always keep you program up to date. The reason you must do this is because it enables you program to detect newer viruses. Even though many identity thieves use internet based scams and traps to catch their victims, it is not the only way they can get other’s information. They have been many cases where people have had their personal mail taken and thieves use their mail to get their personal information. Yes that means you need to keep an eye on your mail too, to make sure that nothing is missing. It is always best to have your mail canceled if you ever move to a different location because sometimes your mail can be delivered to your old home without you knowing and that gives the thieves a chance to easily take your information.
Identity thieves do not really care how they get your identity because some will do whatever it takes to make some easy money. Do you have any deceased relatives, if so then this next might surprise you quite a bit? Identity Thieves are now targeting dead people for their identities, yes you heard right. I know it is disturbing but it is the truth. The thieves use the deceased person’s information to do many things such as opening new credit cards in their name and ruining the deceased person’s credit history. By the time it is over the victim will be put into unbelievable debt and it will affect many relatives of the deceased person. It is a horrible thing but it does not have to happen to you. Here are some things you can do to prevent this from happening. First off make sure that all three credit bureaus know of your relative’s death so they can stop anyone who tries to mess with their credit. Also make sure that you cancel their driver’s license so it cannot be used by someone else. What are the motives of these thieves? There has to be a reason for doing all of these things just to get someone’s identity. In an article I read by Tom Zeller Jr. Zeller, Who is a as a reporter and editor at The New York Times, talks about an interview he had with a man named Sharma, who was a thief that got convicted of identity theft and was sentenced years in prison, about his motives behind his actions. It was said that throughout Sharma’s career he had taken up to $150,000 in stolen items and cash. In the interview Sharma talked about how much easier it was for him to make all of that money in such a short amount of time. He said that he could not go back to his old job because it was not making him anywhere near the amount of money he was making stealing other’s money. He did not admit that money was his primary motive for stealing all those people’s money. He said that through all the years of stealing other’s money he could not get himself to stop doing it even if he wanted to. It had become a personal
addiction of his which he said he could not control. He even stated "I get scared that when I get out, I might have a problem and relapse because it would be so easy to take $300 and turn it into several thousand." There is no doubt that majority of identity thieves steal because of the money. There have been some cases where someone stole another’s identity for personal reasons. There are some thieves that don’t steal people’s identities for the money but they do it to ruin the other person’s life. It sounds like something that would happen within a movie, but it is all too real. If someone has your identity it means they have your full name, credit cards, bank account numbers, and your social security number. When they have all of that then officially they are you. Do you know what that means? It means they can do whatever they want with your identity because after all they are you. If they wanted to they can go out and rob a bank or even murder someone and they could still get away with it. Now it sounds unreal but it has happened and it will happen again. This shows you that there are many different motives behind these criminals other than money. Who exactly are these criminals targeting? Many of you may think that they target older people the most because they are more vulnerable, but it is actually quite the opposite. According to Keith Anderson’s article older people are less likely to get their identity stolen. The reason why is because based on his article, today more thieves are targeting people who have the most credit history. When you see an elderly person you do not see them with five or six credit cards nor do you see them spending their money left and right, this is why they are not
targeted as much as people might think. Also to go along with that it might be best to say that the better the credit the higher the risk of getting your identity stolen.
Dignan, Larry. Consumer Sentinel Network, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/ftc-id-theftcases-surge-20-somethings-biggest-percentage-of-complaints/1360, Web. 4 April, 2012.
Of course as you may know the more money you have the bigger of a target you are. You don’t see many lower class citizens getting their identity stolen, because they don’t have much money to be taken and as I said before most thieves are out for your money. If I was a thief of course I would try to find the richest person to take their money because the more money they have the more I can take. Another thing that criminals look for is large families. Yes that’s right the more children you have the more likely it would be to get your identity stolen. In Anderson’s article is says that “Having more children is associated with more transactions, possibly including transactions conducted by the children.” So that means that it is not you that their targeting but it is your
children because they have less experience when managing finances and young kids are more likely to fall into their traps. Criminals also look at the amount of adults in a household. If your household has more adults they are less likely to target you because the more adults in a household the more aware they are of identity theft. That means that if you are the only adult in a household you are a bigger target. We all know what these criminals are capable of but what are the consequences of their crimes? Identity theft has grown so much over the years that it is considered one of the country’s most serious crimes. One of the main offences of identity theft is called “aggravated identity theft”. It is said that aggravated identity theft is the use of stolen identities to commit other crimes. If a thief were to get caught and convicted for aggravated identity theft they would automatically get a two-year sentence in a federal prison. If they were using identity theft to commit another crime then that crime will also be added to their sentence. For example, if I were to steal someone’s identity and use their name to rob a bank, I would get sentenced for both identity theft and attempted robbery. At least we know that if the thieves are caught they will get a well-deserved sentence. Identity theft is a crime that is sometime hard to detect, so what are ways we can stop it from occurring? First things first always keep an eye out for your wallet or purse and make sure that it is secure in your pocket or purse. Most people keep personal information such as of course driver’s license and credit cards. It is also best if you only keep a small amount of credit cards in your wallet or purse, so don’t carry any un-needed cards.
Guthrie, Doug. benefitsbuzz.blogspot.com, Web. 4 April 2012. One of your most important pieces of information would be your social security number. If it gets stolen you are in big trouble and should do anything to get it back. You should always keep it in a safe place where only you know where it is and it should never be kept in your wallet or purse. It is also always best to shred all documents that contain your personal information. If you were to throw it in the trash then a thief could easily take it out of your trash. Don’t just give your personal information to just anyone make sure you know who it is and what it is needed for. Identity theft is something that you need to always be on the watch out for. It is such a simple crime for some even though it can ruin people’s lives. It is a crime that you may have never known it had happened before it was too late. Always keep this information in mind just in case it ever happens to you and make sure you know what to do when your identity is stolen.
Works Cited Anderson, Keith B. "Who Are the VictimsOf Identity Theft? The Effect Of Demographics." Journal Of Public Policy & Marketing 25.2 (2006): 160-171. Business Source Complete.Web. 21 Feb. 2012. Angus Marshall and BrianTompsett. "Identity Theft: Identity Theft In An Online World."Computer Law And Security Review: The International Journal Of Technology And Practice 21.(2005): 128-137. ScienceDirect.Web. 21 Feb. 2012. Kuykendall, Lavonne. "Service Enables Disaster Victims To Salvage Lost Identifications." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 30 Nov. 2005: B2B. Academic Search Complete.Web. 21 Feb. 2012. Percy, Sally. "Catch Me If You Can." Accountancy 139.1364 (2007): 26-27. Business Source Complete. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. Tom Zeller, JR. "`You know it was wrong'; Imprisoned identity thief talks about his motives. "Houston Chronicle (TX) 05 July 2006: 2. NewsBank.Web. 21 Feb. 2012.
Michael, You have a well-organized paper here that moves your reader from point to point very nicely. What I suggest you work on in revision is making sure that you have cited what needs to be
cited here. Since you have these other sources on your works cited page, it makes me think you used info from them somewhere. If so, make sure you cite where. If not, take the sources off your works cited page. You can always put them on a Works Consulted page that follows your Works Cited. In addition to checking on your source issue, think about where else you can add info that would support your ideas or give more examples of what you are talking about. As a reader, I was intrigued by what you were saying, but wanted even more info than you currently offer. Let my marginal comments help guide you as you think about this idea.
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