Victims Who Don't Prosecute Perpetuate ID Theft Crimes

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Is ID theft perpetuated by victims who don’t prosecute?

Victims Who Don't Prosecute Perpetuate ID Theft Crimes

Contrary to popular belief, not all victims of criminal identity theft are interested in prosecuting the criminal.

Most cases of ID theft involve at least two victims: the individual whose personal information is used to commit the crimes and the company or retailer that granted the credit, accepted the credit card or check from the offender. The individual is typically off the hook for financial liability while the creditor is left holding the loss. Yet, ironically, it is the creditor – the one with the loss – who refuses to pursue prosecution. Why? Time and money.

For many credit card companies and corporations who fall victim to identity theft crimes, it's easier and less costly to write off the loss as a cost of doing business. It's a bottom line decision. But it's not just big companies that write off losses. Small companies don't have the staff to appoint a dedicated advocate to manage the case and won't spend the money to hire a lawyer because the resulting costs could well exceed the amount of recovery.

So does this lack of pursuit of justice or punishment perpetuate identity theft crimes? That particular debate is ongoing with plenty of finger pointing from all sides. However, many of the individuals who are left to clear their records experience a lack of cooperation from credit card companies and credit reporting agencies.

Without the same outrage and feeling of violation that is felt by individual victims, agencies have little motivation to prioritize identity fraud cases and are content to leave the decision to file charges and pursue punishment up to prosecutors.



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