Identity theft- A case of demography or geography?
At least us Brits are not alone in facing an identity theft epidemic. In the USA, it’s the country’s fastest growing crime. The Federal Trade Commission in the States undertakes surveys each year and tries to understand why and how these crimes are being committed. On the surface, what might seem strange is that Arizona is the identity theft hot spot state in the union, followed by California, Texas, Nevada and Florida.
Commentators, particularly from the Right, point to the fact that these are all border states, where illegal immigration may be fuelling the theft of US citizens’ identities. Others suggest Arizona is perched on top of the list because it has a large older population more easily fooled by pfishers and other identity thieves. It has also been suggested that Arizona has a high incidence of methamphetimine users, and that identity theft is a popular "non violent" way to finance drug habits.
London and the Southeast see almost 50% of identity theft crimes in the UK, whereas Northern Ireland sees only 1% of the UK total. Is illegal immigration the big factor here? Or illicit drugs? Is anyone in the UK doing similar work to the FTC in the States to try to understand the causes, or are we content just to record the statistics?