Your Evil Twin: Behind the Identity Theft Epidemic

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John Wiley & Sons, Aug 25, 2004 - Business & Economics - 314 pages
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Identity theft is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in America. It strikes ordinary citizens and celebrities alike. This crime of the twenty-first century is profitable, nearly unpreventable, and hardly ever prosecuted. Some estimates say that nearly ten million Americans each year become victims–and the crime shows no sign of letting up.

Your Evil Twin: Behind the Identity Theft Epidemic covers this exploding crime from every possible angle. Filled with real-world identity theft horror stories (from both the criminal’s and victim’s perspective) as well as practical advice that can help you protect yourself, this book examines the institutions, industries, and individuals that have allowed identity theft to spread, and probes the tepid solutions now being cobbled together by the industry and government to curb this crime.

Author and identity theft expert Bob Sullivan agrees that criminals should, without a doubt, be blamed for this crisis, but he also notes that so should those entrusted with our identities. Sullivan digs deep to reveal how institutions designed to protect our identities have let us down, while corporate America–in choosing profits over privacy–has shirked much of its responsibility for the problem.

You’ll receive an up-close look at some of the most troubling issues associated with the identity theft epidemic, including:

  • How criminal, domestic, child, and elder identity theft is perpetrated
  • Why government agencies have been so slow to react to this problem and how our nation’s identification systems–birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and Social Security cards–are so easily duped
  • How credit card companies who, in their rush to push the "miracle of instant credit," have created some of the systematic flaws that allow identity theft to be profitable in the first place
  • Why law enforcement officers often refuse to take reports of these types of crime or prosecute criminals
  • How the Internet and new technology has made identity theft easier for both criminals and terrorists

But there are solutions to the identity theft problem and this book examines some of them–from individual heroic efforts being made privately to public companies whose forward-looking projects may stem the epidemic.

Identity theft is much more than a paperwork headache for victims. The crime has been blamed for everything from divorce to suicide to murder. It threatens happy retirements as well as college student loans. In its very worst form, it can even land innocent people in jail. Your Evil Twin will show you why identity theft has become so common and help you prevent or prepare for the day someone tries to steal your good name.


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I only read the sections that listed my brother. Though I don't have anything to do with him, it is strange that he is notorious enough to be in a book of this kind. I wish the writer well.

Selected pages


CEOs in My Closet
The Pain
The Miracle of Instant Credit
The Trial
The Document Problem
Where Are the Cops?
There Ought to Be a Law
The Internets Role
The Heroes
What Now?

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About the author (2004)

BOB SULLIVAN is a senior writer at who has concentrated on high-tech crime and consumer fraud. He is the nation’s leading journalist covering identity theft, having written more than 100 articles on the subject since 1996. His work has been read by millions of Internet users, and reproduced in various outlets, including, the Wall Street Journal Online, and Sullivan also makes regular television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today show, and various local NBC affiliates. He is the winner of the prestigious 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Public Service Award for his series of articles on online fraud. He has spoken before trade and government groups including the National Association of Attorneys General. He lives in Maltby, Washington, with his golden retriever, Lucky.

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