According to an article written by Bob Sullivan for nbcnews.com, there are 10,000 identity theft rings active in the United States, primarily in the Southeast, including a hot spot right down the road from me in Greenville, Mississippi. Very interesting read. I have reposted Mr. Sullivan's article below and here is a link to his article - http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/14/15144350-10000-id-fraud-gangs-active-in-us-especially-the-southeast-study-finds?lite
"There are 10,000 active identity theft crime rings across the United States, with the greatest concentration in a "ring of fraud" that stretches across the Southeast from Virginia to Mississippi, according to a new report by fraud-fighting firm ID Analytics.
A majority of these rings are what the firm calls "Friends & Family" groups, not professional criminal organizations, the report concludes. The rings are most highly concentrated in Washington D.C.; Detroit; Tampa, Fla.; Greenville, Miss., Macon, Georgia; and Montgomery, Ala., the report found.
ID Analytics compiled the results by examining its massive database of credit applications and other identity “risk events,” which now includes 1.7 billion entries. The firm cross references credit applications from major banks, auto dealers, wireless firms and other credit grantors looking for evidence of systematic identity fraud. Previously, ID Analytics has used its data to help identify tens of thousands of registered sex offenders who are living digital double lives, and millions of U.S. residents who are"sharing" their Social Security number with someone else.
The crime ring project is a first, says head researcher Stephen Coggeshall.
"This is first time we raised it up a level and looked at how these people are connected," he said. "I am surprised at how many rings there are."