Illustration for article titled Identity Theft Harder than Ever to Prevent

With so many companies leaking your personal information, it's more and more likely that you'll get your identity stolen at some point. But a new report from the US government reports that law enforcement is lagging way behind on convictions for identity theft. In fact, say officials, convicting an identity thief is almost impossible. Things aren't all gloom and doom. In 2007, 26 percent more identity thieves were convicted in the United States than in 2006. That's a huge jump, but it still means that only 1,943 people were convicted of identity theft last year — that's out of about 1.6 million reports of identity theft on file with the Federal Trade Commission. Partly this is because the techniques that ID thieves use are always changing with changing tech. But it's also because so many of these crimes happen across national lines. According to Threat Level's David Kravets, though, the US has a few ideas about how to combat ID theft. Some are obvious, like using social security cards less often. But others involve creating new mega-ID cards and a new law enforcement unit:

The 70-page document (.pdf) also includes 31 recommendations to combat identity theft. The report has a couple of interesting recommendations: the creation of a "National Identity Theft Law Enforcement Center" and providing victims of identity theft with a so-called passport "to prove they are who they say they are."


So basically if you're the victim of a ID thief, you'll have to carry around additional identity papers. Welcome to more airport line-waiting nightmares, to say the very least. US Identity Theft Convictions Increase 26 Percent Feds Say [via Threat Level]

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