The highest rate of identity theft is found in countries of North America. Identity theft is a growing problem in various countries these days. Due to almost full dependence on online payment methods by many individuals, the crime keeps on increasing. Developed countries face this problem to a great extent due to their heavy usage of online services. Though there are various countries where the crime ratio is almost zero, but with the advancement of the technology, these countries also might suffer from this crime. According to experts, identity theft is a growing problem and it will keep on increasing in the coming years.
If we talk about the country with the highest rate of identity theft, that is the USA, has more than 70% of identity theft cases in the world. Other countries affected by this crime after the USA are the United Kingdom with 8% cases, Canada with 4% cases and Australia with 2% cases. Israel and China have 1% cases each.
The most common identity theft case in all these countries is online credit card fraud with most of the cases occurring in the United States. Other countries facing credit card theft include Australia, Canada, and Mexico. This crime is comparatively low in European countries. Some of the European countries affected by this crime are France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden.
The reason why there is very less problem of identity theft in European countries is due to the usage of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) system in these countries. This system is very secure and provides identity security as it creates a security layer during the payment in the form of a PIN (Personal Identification Number). Although, the system was also adopted in the United States in 2013. But, it will take some time for it to be adopted by all the financial institutions in the country.
Another reason of high identity theft rate in the United States is that most of the USA citizens depend on online modes of payment. More usage of online methods leads to more chances getting identity stolen. Moreover, Social Security Numbers (SSN) are widely used in the United States, and getting it revealed could easily lead to identity theft.
Various steps can be taken in countries like USA (where identity theft is very common) for identity theft protection. These are:
• Never give your personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
• Do not click on pop-ups and unknown links on the websites.
• Always use a good anti-virus for your system.
• Never reply to unknown emails and text messages.
• Always see that the online transaction you are carrying out is secured or not. For a secure transaction, ‘http’ is always followed by an‘s’, i.e. ‘https’.
If people keep themselves updated about this growing crime and take appropriate steps to avoid it, then preventing identity theft could be achieved very easily and this crime could be reduced to a greater extent eventually.