I’m on a ID fraud kick lately and there are quite a few stories of late about identity theft. Here are just a few:
House Approves Red Flags Exemptions – In January 2008, the Red Flag Rule went into existence which said that organizations (mainly banks and financial institutions) that extend credit to have a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect identity fraud on a day to day basis. This new bill would except certain businesses like physicians and hospitals from having to abide by the rule. Sen. Dodd (D-Conn) said that the bill, ‘makes clear that lawyers, doctors, dentists, orthodontists, pharmacists, veterinarians, accountants, nurse practitioners, social workers, other types of healthcare providers and other service providers will no longer be classified as 'creditors' for the purposes of the Red Flags Rule just because they do not receive payment in full from their clients at the time they provide their services, when they don't offer or maintain accounts that pose a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft.’ So if you don’t have a foreseeable risk of ID theft, I guess you don’t have to pay attention.
Military at high risk for identity theft – Did you know that military personnel are required to use their SSN for silly things like checking out a basketball at a gym or to identify their laundry bag? I didn’t and it is becoming a problem since most locations do not take ‘care’ of that personal info.
Fla woman stole identity, paid for breast implants – You might remember this one where a woman in Miami stole someone’s identity and used fake credit cards to get her fake, well, you know. She also racked up $20,000 in new furniture. She got 30 months in a federal pen for that one. If you were wondering, she said she needed them since her old ones were giving her breathing problems.
Kent couple arrested for identity theft, prescription forgeries – While investigating a prescription forgery ring, Kent Police uncovered a nice little counterfeiting operation run out of an apartment building. Since the suspect was a convicted felon with a firearm, SWAT arrived and took the couple without incident. Wait, fake prescriptions here and a new law that says medical facilities can pass on Red Flag? Hum.
Man arrested in financial identity theft – It’s not just strangers getting hit – here a 20 year old opened a credit card account in his grandparent’s names and just added himself as an authorized user. $4000 worth of cigs, alcohol and electronic equipment later, he was in jail.
Queens D.A. Warns: Beware New ID Theft – At least in New York, thieves are using what’s called a ‘spoof card’ to get personal information. Spoof cards are like calling cards but allows the caller to enter whatever number they want on the receiver’s caller ID. Oh, a call from the bank. They act/sound all authoritative on the phone and people spill the info. This is a great opportunity to turn the tables – ask the caller to validate a piece of information. To validate the caller, ask a couple questions that the bank usually asks you like, last transaction or first dog’s name. Or, just say, ‘I’ll call you back at the number on your web site.’
ID theft alleged at Libertyville driver's license facility – A 22 year employee at an Illinois driver’s license facility gets caught giving other’s personal information to thieves. Those thieves then opened credit card accounts with the info. He’s facing 3 years in prison but shows just how slippery your personal info is in the hands of others.