Becoming the victim of a crime often leaves a lasting impression long after the crime has been committed and found out and things have started to turn around. It’s common for victims to feel certain ways, especially when the severity of the crime is increased and the recovery process takes time – like with identity theft. This is the type of crime that can impact people on different levels, changing the way that they behave for years to come after the initial crime. Some people’s behaviors may undergo many changes, others may seem to “handle it” in a better way… but no matter what, it’s important to understand that no two people and no two crimes are the same, so there’s no wrong way to respond.
Losing trust in others is common. Victims of identity theft have gone through a great deal of loss, whether it was monetary or of details – these things are very important to individuals, and are the biggest targets of thieves. After becoming a victim, it’s common for people to be less trusting of others – no more handing out keys or leaving accounts logged in on computers… no more sharing passwords or being open with strangers.
Prior victims may begin to rely on outside help. After seeing the damage that these thieves can cause, people may be more likely to choose methods of identity theft protection that are provided by outside sources. Many companies design and provide methods of protection that are meant to help people get a better grasp on the inner workings of their accounts, making it more likely that identity theft can be caught sooner and stopped by the people that it’s affecting.
Habits may change dramatically. Although people want to get back to normal in as many ways as they can, it’s understandable that some things will in fact change moving forward. In an attempt to keep thieves from accessing information that is meant to be kept private, people may start keeping more cash on hand, putting money into investments and savings accounts, and putting less information about themselves online. Relying heavily on password protection could become common for past victims of different types of identity theft, but it is absolutely normal and if it makes them feel better about things, then more power to them.