Theft, unfortunately, has been a potential danger in every society since the beginning of time. Most people figure out where the bad parts of town are and what type of people to genearlly avoid to stay out of harms way, but, sometimes, the threat isn’t from who you would expect. In fact, sometimes, it comes from the very opposite of what you’d expect:
Civil asset forfeiture (sometimes called, simply, civil forfeiture) has been on the rise in the United States over the last few decades, but, now, it has seemed to reach epic proportions. So, let’s start from the top: What is civil asset forfeiture? The Heritage Foundation defines it as:
“Civil asset forfeiture is a legal tool that allows law enforcement officials to seize property that they assert has been involved in certain criminal activity. In fact, the owner of the property doesn’t even need to be guilty of a crime: Civil asset forfeiture proceedings charge the property itself with involvement in a crime. This means that police can seize your car, home, money, or valuables without ever having to charge you with a crime. There are many, many stories of innocent people being stripped of their money and property by law enforcement.”
Think about that: You don’t even have to be found guilty of a crime for the government to take your money or other property on suspicion of having committed a crime. For example, if you are someone who does not believe in using credit or debit cards for security and safety reasons but prefers to pay cash, your savings may be taken from you because the government says it’s awfully suspicious of anyone to have that much cash on hand, so you must be involved in the drug trade. Yes, this means that they get to take your money.
And, if you think it doesn’t happen often, realize that law enforcement took more money using civil asset forfeiture last year than burglars did last year. Last year, Federal law enforcement alone pulled in over $5 billion from civil asset forfeiture, which is more than burglars stole during the same time period. And the trend is on the rise.
Do you really think it’s not going to affect you or somene that you know? It will very soon, if it hasn’t already. So, our recommendation is, if you haven’t found ways to keep your money and valuables safe from not just prying hands (burglars) but even from common knowledge, you had better look for ways to make those valuables and money effectively disappear. Otherwise, you could be the net target for civil asset forfeiture.
Do you have recommendations for how to keep your money and valuable safe from prying eyes and a prying government? Tell us below.