There’s No Such Thing as “Identity Theft”

There’s no such thing as identity theft. When Person A claims to be Person B and obtains a loan, he’s defrauded the bank, not Person B. Person B is only harmed when the government fails to protect him from the bank that was defrauded. How so?

Person A has defrauded the bank, not Person B. The bank then harms Person B by going after him for the loan that Person A took out. The bank fell victim to Person A and then victimizes Person B. Person B is never a victim of Person A, so you can’t say that Person A “stole” the identity of Person B. That language implies that Person B is a victim of Person A when he’s not. Person B is a victim of the bank. The bank is a victim of Person A.

It is the government’s job to protect Person B from the bank’s claim that he took out a loan that Person A took out in the name of Person B. Person B should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and given due process, paid for by the bank when it loses it’s claim. Instead, the bank is permitted to harass Person B and make his life a living hell, and when it is taken to court, Person B is left with all sorts of charges due to the bank’s failure to verify that Person A was who he said it was. This is a failure of the bank and government in the protection of Person B’s property.

If this were allowed to play out, I believe banks and other financial institutions would require stronger evidence for identification, etc. I believe this would be handled properly, with the bank assuming the burden of proof and costs of litigation should it fail to prove that Person B took at the loan, in a truly free market.

Written by Skyler J. Collins, January 2011.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.