I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another]. But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness).
(Romans 7:7, 8 AMP)

Christmas is the season to be spending and the average American household is expected to spend about $750 for their holiday purchases this year creating credit card debt. A record high 51.8 percent of the US population stated that they plan to shop online this season. Fifty-nine percent of people stated that they will take advantage of holiday sales to make non-gift purchases for themselves. Unfortunately cyber-criminals are also spending more during the holiday season of their victims money using identity theft to capitalize on consumer greed. The Consumer Sentinel Network 2011 statistics indicated that Florida is the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, followed by Georgia and California. Annual US fraud related losses were $1.5 billion with $537 being the average amount paid per incident. Many online identity theft schemes lure their victims in by arousing the sinful desires to covet from within a person through enticing offers. In some cases it can be our own sinful appetites that can lead to fraud related loss. The Bible says “And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10) We can decrease identity theft by being sensible with our spending and not coveting that which we do not have. If you haven’t got don’t spend it!

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