The New York Times took a business approach in one article (which interestingly never used the "I" word), correctly pointing out that financial concerns make a bundle from the refusal of government to fight identity rip-offs [Protectors, Too, Gather Profits From ID Theft, 12/12/06]
It is not just criminals who are profiting from identity theft; financial institutions are making money, too. Fear of identity theft has helped give rise to a nearly billion-dollar business in credit-monitoring services sold by the major credit bureaus — companies like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — as well as direct marketers and banks.
The piece also featured a middle-class Kansas couple, Melody and Steven Millett, who purchased a $79.99-a-year service from Equifax that was supposed to monitor their credit activity. Nevertheless, ID thief Abundio Perez used Steve's Social Security number to apply for 26 credit cards, finance several cars and acquire a mortgage.
The difficulty of repairing a ruined identity and credit rating is daunting — some victims may never recover their good name, like Dublin, California, resident Audra Schmierer (pictured here). Her Social Security number was stolen and used by more than 200 illegal aliens, leaving her with a tax liability of over $1 million.
The Greeley Tribune, source of much teary-eyed propaganda about illegal aliens being repatriated (getting a free ride home for Christmas would be another view), published a thoughtful piece by victim of ID theft Theresa Myers. She tried stenuously to repair the damage to her credit, but could get no government agency to cooperate in fixing her problem [As victim of identity theft, I wish several things would happen, 12/17/06].
The bottom line is, I never saw any permanent resolution to the case. For all I know, my Social Security number and name are still being used by someone.
The larger bottom line is that honest citizens are road kill for the businesses and government institutions that care little for traditional American standards of law and fairness, particularly when there are billions of dollars to be made off illegal aliens.