Money in English: The perils of young adult identity theft

Money in English
Money in English

Meet my friend Brian, whose name I've changed to protect his identity. If only he had the same safeguards in place around the time he applied for his first credit card.

Brian was 19, and his parents thought it would be a good idea for him to start building his credit history. As Brian and his parents discussed his application with the banker, they were both surprised to learn that he already had a credit card -- five, in fact. They were also surprised to learn that he never paid his bills and had an affinity for expensive jewelry.

Brian, of course, was a victim of identity theft. Several years later, and despite professional help, he still hasn't managed to clear his name. He's not alone. Identity theft remains a huge problem, with the Federal Trade Commission recording more than 273,000 complaints about it in 2009.