As anybody who has ever been the victim of identity theft knows, the reason it's so common is because it pays.
And why does it pay? Because identity thieves rarely go to jail.
Case in point: Friday's Boston Herald had a story about a US-based woman having her credit card number stolen. While on a ski vacation two weeks ago, she got a call from Dell saying she had ordered a $1,250 computer to be sent to Texas. Luckily, the victim was able to cancel the transaction before the computer got shipped, but not everyone is so lucky.
According to the Herald, the victim says the chances of this criminal ever being prosecuted are "slim to none".
She ought to know. Her name is Martha Coakley and last Wednesday she was sworn in as Attorney General for the state of Massachusetts.