As if telephone, mail, and online scamming of the public weren’t awful enough, specific scammers actually that target the elderly now. These individuals’ inherently trusting nature, the stereotype that many senior citizens are unfamiliar with newer technology, and the very specific fears associated with things like having their utilities shut off or needing a better price on healthcare or medicine make the elderly a particularly ripe target for scammers and fraudsters.
The Identity Theft Resource Center and the Federal Trade Commission routinely conduct focused research on the impact of identity theft in order to get a clear picture of the nature and aftermath of this crime. For the fifteenth year in a row, the number one consumer complaint to the FTC is identity theft, and targeted efforts are being made to help develop a broader picture of what identity theft really entails in order to establish the protocols that will lead to better prevention.
We’ve come a long way from the days when identity theft first became a widespread problem, back when law enforcement officials didn’t quite know how to address it. It was such a new, unheard of issue even as recently as the 1980s that victims, the financial sector, and the judicial system alike often felt lost. The end result back then was often a lengthy nightmare for the individuals who were trying to clear their names.
A Florida case involving a drug dealer may have changed the face of individual privacy in this country. The police in the case used a few different methods to locate and apprehend the suspect without obtaining a warrant, methods that the Florida Supreme Court has now declared illegal.
In a matter that has frustrated both individuals and open internet advocates, Google is slowly making its way through the mountain of requests that have flooded their offices since the EU ruled earlier this year on the Right to Be Forgotten. The ruling gives citizens the right to request certain webpages be removed from linking to them through search engines if the information is false or outdated. Under some countries’ laws, the request process actually allows for guilty individuals to have mentions of their crimes removed if enough time has passed and the sentence has been fulfilled.