Identity Theft: America’s Fastest Growing White Collar Crime

Published on August 15th, 2008

By Michael Cutler

Every American should be concerned about identity theft because the potential exists that if you have not been victimized, you may fall victim in the future to what has been described as "America’s fastest growing “white collar" crime.

What should be understood it that identity theft is committed by different criminals for different purposes. Illegal aliens may use identity theft to secure illegal employment in the United States. Terrorists and criminals have multiple purposes in mind when they become involved in identity theft. First of all, they use identity theft as a means to acquiring lots of money. The notorious bank robber Willie Sutton who carried out numerous bank robberies in the early 1930’s was reputed to have answered the question, "Why do you rob banks?" by simply stating "That’s where the money is!"

Today’s identity thieves don’t have to carry a gun or risk a shoot-out: they often commit their crimes without ever coming into contact with their victims. While identity theft may not be a crime of violence, it often funds other criminal activities that most certainly involve lots of violence and the victims of identity theft can be put through a veritable living hell!

The ill-gotten funds that result from massive instances of identity theft often buy weapons, vehicles and narcotics.

The difference between a good guy and a bad guy is that the good guy gets up in the morning and goes through his stuff to try to figure out what he wants to wear. The bad guy goes through his stuff to figure out who he wants to be!

Whenever a criminal suspect is arrested, he (she) is fingerprinted to attempt to determine his true identity. I have seen arrest records ("rap sheets") that needed extension sheets for all of the identities that the criminal may have used!

The terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 used an estimated 360+ identities and variations of identities in order to conceal their identities, and their intentions in an effort to cover their tracks and embed themselves in communities around the United States as they completed their plans to launch the deadliest attack every carried out within any country.

Many of the gangs that have "discovered" identity theft are gangs that have numerous criminal aliens among their members. This is yet another example of the impact of our nation’s failure to secure its borders and create an immigration system that possesses integrity.

Every day more illegal aliens, including criminals and most probably terrorists, gain easy access to our nation.

We the People must awaken our elected representatives to the simple fact that these politicians are supposed to represent the citizens of our nation!

This is not simply an issue of concern to Conservatives or Republicans but is an issue of concern for all Americans of all political affiliations and orientations!

Active participation in our democracy is not a spectator sport!

Michael Cutler is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and retired from the INS after a 30 year career. He has given expert testimony at more than a dozen Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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