US Crime Rates Would Soar In A Cashless Society

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Photo: Flickr / colin.brown

Paper money drives America’s black market, from prostitutes to drugs; babysitters to servers; and blood diamond buyers to tax evaders. If we moved to a cashless society would crime take a plunge? 

Ellen Zimiles, lawyer and money laundering expert told Slate’s Katy Waldman she isn’t so sure.

Here are her two reasons: 

  • Electronic currency moves fast, making fraud that much easier. 
  • Hackers would love nothing more to pilfer through all our online data. (Even regular Joes want to snoop through your smartphone.) 

Given Americans’ love affair with online banking and banks’ proclivity for letting their customers choose stupid debit card PINs, Zimiles makes a strong case.

More than 11.6 million consumers reported identity theft in 2011, according to Javelin. The number is only expected to rise as our lives continue growing online. 

Don’t miss: 4 things identity thieves don’t want you to know > 

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