In 11 countries with the highest rates of identity theft in the world, this crime has become rampant. Developed countries has been facing this problem for some time now, but as other countries develop their Internet infrastructure and more and more people turn to online banking, identity theft has started to be a major issue worldwide. In order to stay safe from it, check out the list of the 10 most dangerous places in the world before going abroad.
For several years, identity theft is number one reason for consumer complaint in the United States, outscoring bank complaints, debt collection and car related complaints. Identity theft is often followed with credit card fraud, where criminals try to gain access to the victims’ bank accounts. That is why there’s not a single European country among countries with the highest rates of identity theft, because they use system called EMV (Europay, Visa, Masters) which adds additional security layer in a form of a
PIN number. Although the system has been formally introduced in the United States in 2013, it will take some time for banks to update all of their ATMs so that they can accept new cards. Until then, credit cards fraud will remain one of the most serious effects of identity theft.
While America is one of the top victim countries in the world, Russia is considered the main source of identity theft. Russian hackers are the world’s biggest supplier of fraudulent credit card numbers and other PII (personally identifiable information). High unemployment rates have pushed thousands of software engineers and programmers into poverty, forcing them to turn to illegal activities in order to survive. The Russian mob has welcomed them with open arms, providing them with the equipment and reaping the benefits of their criminal work.
11 countries with the highest rates of identity theft in the world are a strange mix of wealth and poverty, but they have few things in common. All have strong economies and citizens who prefer to do their banking online, leaving enough trails for hackers to pick up and steal their identity. Since it can take several months before the victim discovers what has happened, the damage is often done long before the police get involved.
Identity theft and credit card frauds aren’t as high in Canada as they are in their neighboring country, but are enough to place them on the list.
10. South Africa
South Africa is slowly climbing the ladder, as organized crime is getting more sophisticated every year.
One of the largest banking centers combined with the proximity of China and a large number of tourists, have made Singapore one of the main targets for identity theft in Asia, despite draconic penal code.
When a study has been conducted among the people who had to replace their credit card due to identity theft in Australia, only 37% of them stated that they use it less than before. While it is commendable that people aren’t allowing criminals to dictate their lives, exercising some caution would surely place Australia lower on this list.
Emerging economy with low standard of living and large numbers of Internet savvy people seems to be the recipe for placing the country on this list. Brazil is the prime example of this.
Number 6 on our list is the United Kingdom. A large Russian expat community with substantial bank accounts makes the UK one of the prime targets for the Russian mob.
With identity theft rampant, Chinese are getting more reluctant to use their credit cards online, up to the point that is starting to hurt the economy. The government has recently issued mandatory guidelines banks must follow in order to reduce identity theft rates.
4. The UAE
The United Arab Emirates have some of the largest concentration of rich people per square mile in the world. No wonder that hackers that deal in identity theft are salivating at the mere mention of it. One good job can set them for life.
Another emerging economy, India has more than its fair share of identity theft cases. Large majority of them are caused by domestic hackers.
2. United States of America
Surprisingly, the United States aren’t number one on this list. The reason for that is that we have placed countries according to the percentages, not the total number of identity theft cases.
Proximity to the United States and highly organized criminal cartels have placed Mexico top of the list of 11 countries with the highest rates of identity theft in the world. 44% of all credit card users in this country have been victims of identity theft.