I have written before about the "threats" of identity theft. Know-nothing politicians and bureaucrats often try to restrict access to public domain records and online databases with an excuse that restricting such access will somehow reduce identity theft. Sadly, that does little good.
A recent research report by Heith Copes of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Lynne Vieraitis of the University of Texas at Austin has proven the point. The two examined identity thieves and their methods. Copes and Vieraitis searched federal court records in the US for people convicted of identity theft and then interviewed the thieves. They were able to find 297 inmates, from which they sampled 59 inmates in 14 prisons across the country. The convicts agreed to do detailed interviews, in private, to talk about themselves and their crimes. I would suggest the results should be studied by every politician and bureaucrat.