Losing your identity

security       2002-12-18 
In the old days, losing one's identity was something that only happened to amnesia sufferers.
In these increasingly electronic days, it's becoming all too common.
More and more people are finding their identity has been stolen from them.
Crooks are using people's names, addresses and other biographical details to get credit in their name, leaving the unsuspecting target none the wiser and much the poorer.
The result? Weeks of drudgery trying to clean up a record besmirched almost beyond repair.
And that's at best. At worst, the consequences can include being arrested for someone else's crimes committed, quite literally, in your name, and having your credit rating permanently butchered.
Some Americans have even resorted to "pseudocide" - declaring one's official identity officially dead, and starting over from scratch.