In what is known as “synthetic identity fraud,” thieves are now creating false identities from whole cloth, and using them to dupe lenders and credit card companies out of their money. The Justice Department says this fast growing danger is one of the hardest forms of identity crime to fight. That’s probably because no actual identity is being stolen, so there’s no immediate victim to raise a red flag on fraudulent activity.
The victims in this case end up being the lenders who cannot get their money back after sending it to a completely fictitious person. Peter Rudegeair and AnnaMaria Andriotis report for the Wall Street Journal that authorities end up chasing ghosts when synthetic identity fraud is investigated.