In one incident a 72 year old British pensioner from Bristol who was arrested in South Africa whilst on holiday with his wife. The arrest followed on a FBI arrest warrant for one of their most wanted fugitives. The pensioner and victim of identity theft had to endure a three week incarceration in conditions described as not pleasant at all although he protested his innocence right from the start.

These identity theft stories tell a tale of how innocent victims can suffer due to mistaken identity. The real culprit of the same age, Derek Lloyd Sykes, had stolen the identity of the victim as far back as 1989 and lived under the name of Robert James Grant and had a British Passport in the name of Derek Sykes. Mr Derek Lloyd Sykes who was only arrested after authorities received a tip off and then arrested the fraudster in Las Vegas. The fraudster ran a telemarketing scheme in which he defrauded millions of dollars from people. The arrested pensioner was held whilst authorities were determining his identity as the Interpol website carried an image of Derek Lloyd Sykes on its wanted list.

This identity theft story highlights the fact that you cannot rely on American intelligence when it comes to identity theft. And although the FBI and American Embassy were criticized for the handling of the matter it will not replace the time spent in police custody by the unlucky pensioner. Criminals require very little information to steal some one’s identity. They only need your passport or social security number to duplicate your identity and then to start opening accounts and apply for credit. Floating around in rubbish dumps one will find documents bearing peoples social security numbers, bank accounts, and store accounts, copies of payslips and proof of residence on utility accounts. Many of these details have been dumped by companies and not as a result of rubbish collected from private homes.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world and a very lucrative crime to commit. The perpetrators will often commit multiple crimes before being caught. It is also a crime where the victim never even knows or will ever know the perpetrator until caught. To prevent identity theft is very easy if everyone plays their part and is willing to change a few habits. For many victims who have to clear their names after falling victim to identity theft, they will find it frustrating, time consuming and expensive.

Source by Andy Howard