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"Once they have that, using publicly available records, they can gather enough information to be able to apply for a bank account.
They then need a forged utility bill or piece of identification in that person's name."Scroll down for more ...
"But rather than starting from the top down we asked a team of criminologists to go direct to the fraudsters, and over a couple of years they did just that, speaking to 100 individuals to further understand their behaviour.
"The first conclusion we were able to draw from the research was that the whole area of identity theft is much more organised than it used to be.
I know it sounds stupid, but I feel very violated to know that a criminal was able to log on to my page and steal my personal details."In a way Victoria was lucky.
With a few phone calls she managed to persuade the phone company that a fraudster, assuming her identity, had set up the contract.
For, as it would subsequently transpire, she has just had her identity stolen: 21st-century style.Experts warn that their focus has shifted on to the internet with teenagers and young men and women targeted.Not only are they more likely to belong to these social networking sites, but they are by nature more free and easy with their personal information and less likely to keep close track of their financial affairs."I shred anything that might be of use to anyone; all my correspondence, my old bank statements, bills and documents."But for some reason when I signed up to Facebook it felt as if I was joining something self-contained, something that would be used by like-minded people. "The truth is that you don't know who anyone is on the internet and you don't know what their motives are for using it.
"It's no longer an ad hoc thing, there are career criminals doing it for a living and there is an industry that has grown up with a defined structure.