401(K) 2012 via Flickr
In the war on identity theft, thieves have changed their strategies to counteract preventive measures by the government, according to ABC News.
Programs like E-Verify check Social Security numbers with the names of potential employees. If they don’t match, an applicant is not hired.
Identity thieves have overcome this obstacle by participating in what is called total identity theft, but they aren’t satisfied with just exploiting the victim’s identity for financial gain.
Total identity thieves actually assume the identity of the victim, going by their name, signing up for health insurance and even getting a driver’s license, all in someone else’s name.
When Houston schoolteacher Candida L. Gutierrez found out her identity had been stolen, she informed authorities.
Unfortunately, the woman who took her identity, Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was told of the complaint and pretended it was Gutierrez who was trying to steal her identity.
After 10 years of Gutierrez trying to prove her identity to the Social Security Administration, and after having one replacement number sent to the wrong woman, Cardona-Gonzalez was finally arrested in August.