Meth Abuse Linked To Identity Thefts In Western States


While public concern about identity theft has focused on computer schemes, for law enforcement officials in Western areas, meth users have become the everyday face of identity theft, the New York Times reports. Like crack cocaine in the 1980's, the rise of methamphetamine has been accompanied by a specific set of crimes and skills that are shared among users and dealers. The Denver district attorney's office said that said 60 percent to 70 percent of its identity theft cases involved methamphetamine users or dealers, often in rings of 10 or more.

Prosecutors, police officers, drug treatment professionals, former identity thieves, and recovering addicts describe a connection between meth use identity theft involving the hours that addicts keep, the nature of a methamphetamine high and the social patterns of meth production and use. In a survey of 500 county sheriffs, 27 percent said meth had contributed to a rise in identity theft in their areas. Even more noted that it contributed to increases in domestic abuse or robberies and burglaries.


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