“Identity theft is the information age’s new crime. A criminal collects enough personal data on the victim to impersonate him to banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions. Then he racks up debt in the victim’s name, collects the cash and disappears. The victim is left holding the bag.
While some of the losses are absorbed by financial institutions–credit card companies in particular–the credit-rating damage is borne by the victim. It can take years for the victim to completely clear his name.” Bruce Schneier

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyLzWYRC8CA

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