Could your child become the victim of Identity Theft?

One of the golden rules of the world we live in today is to protect your Social Security number in order to protect yourself from becoming a victim of Identity Theft. But what about your children’s social security numbers? I know that I have them in a safe spot, and have not really even thought about them until reading this article.

Hundreds of online businesses are using computers to find dormant Social Security numbers — usually those assigned to children who don’t use them — then selling those numbers under another name to help people establish phony credit and run up huge debts they will never pay off.

Experts say the fraud will be difficult to stop because it’s so easily concealed and targets such vulnerable people. Other than checking with the credit bureaus to see if there is a credit file associated with your child’s Social Security number, spokesmen at FICO, the Social Security Administration and the FTC said there are no specific tools for safeguarding the number.

“This is an invisible crime, with invisible victims who don’t have enough support out there to help them,” said Linda Foley of the ID Theft Resource Center in San Diego.

Legislation re-introduced to protect people from identity theft and account fraud

In today’s day and age, this one seems like a no-brainer to me. We NEED legislation to help protect people from Identity Theft and Account Fraud.

Senator Carper was one of the ones who introduced the legislation. The Data Security Act of 2010 would require entities such as financial establishments, retailers, and federal agencies to safeguard sensitive information, investigate security breaches, and notify people when there is a substantial risk of identity theft or account fraud.

Legislation re-introduced to protect people from identity theft and account fraud

It is changes like this that will help to protect people from becoming victims.

History of scams – part 2

The other day I posted information about how far back there are documented cases of scams.  Scams are a part of our history, so why have we not learned from them to make a things better in our current times and for our future?  I see several reasons for this.

1) The punishment vs the crime – For many scams, the people running them do very little if any jail time.  If there is not a stiff punishment for these crimes, then the money that they gain from the crimes outweighs the punishment for getting caught, if they get caught, so the criminal choose to take that chance.

2) Education – Information about scams and fraud NEEDS to be taught in our school systems . . . it is a part of our history, and I have always been taught that if we do not learn from our history we will be doomed to repeat it.  The fact that scams have been around for as long as they have is evidence enough that we have not learned from our past.

3) Not me thinking – Many people hear the word “scam” or “fraud” and think “I am too smart to fall for something like that.” so they just tune out and ignore the information.  Identity Theft is a type of fraud, and I think that everyone would agree that we know that ANYONE can become a victim of Identity Theft . . . it does not matter  where you come from, your income, or your level of education.

4) Assumptions about the victims – It is very hard for victims of these crimes to come forward because so often they are blamed for what happened.  This relates to the above “Not Me” thinking.  Many people assume that because you have become a victim of a scam you are greedy or stupid, or both.  To me this is the same as the thinking that a rape victim “got what she deserved” because she was wearing a short skirt and sexy clothing.  Why is it that we blame the VICTIMS!?!?!?

If we really want things to change in this world we need to take a step back and look at the big picture . . . scams and fraud have been around for for as long as man has been walking on this planet.  The invention of the internet has only made it easier for those criminals to connect with their victims.  If we do not look back to see the patterns and learn from the past, we will only continue to see scams and fraud continue to grow in the future.

Social Security number

While watching the movie The Blind Side, my husband and I noticed something . . . when the main character Michael Oher gets his drivers license there is a close up shot of it, and his Social Security number is listed on the driver’s license!


I was shocked when I saw this, and I had no idea that some states actually did this since I have never lived in a state that did this.  Since I saw this as a HUGE risk to identity theft,  I asked a good friend of mine, Denise Richardson, who operates the website GiveMeBackMyCredit.com and is a wonderful resource on the topic of identity theft about this, and here is what she sent to me . . .


Can a state use my Social Security number as my drivers’ license number?
Not any longer. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 prohibits states from displaying your SSN on drivers’ licenses, state ID cards, or motor-vehicle registrations. The law went into effect December 17, 2005, and applies to all licenses, registrations, and identification cards issued after that date. If your license still uses your SSN as the ID number, you can request this be changed. You don’t need to wait until it expires to get one with a different number, though you may be charged a fee for the new issuance.


More information on the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is available as follows:

Identity Theft

Here is a great article from my good friend Denise Richardson of GiveMeBackMyCredit.com

I feel that this is very important information for every teenager to read. At this time of year when everyone is thinking about graduations and going off to college, it is important for us to remember that scams, fraud and identity theft can happen to anyone at any time, and that we need to have the right information to protect ourselves.

Darrius Whitehorn, a Loyola University criminal justice student spent a week in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Darrius learned the hard way that when it comes to identity theft, you are guilty until proven innocent. It seems his Social Security number and his birthdate matched that of a deceased, convicted robber named Kirk Davis.

To read the full article, go to
Identity Theft Sends Innocent Student to Jail – Denise Richardson

Things are getting busy

I wanted to thank all of you for following and reading this blog. It really helps keep me going to know that there are others out there that find this topic important.

I have some big things going on in the next couple of months, so I might not have as much time to blog as I used to, but I hope that all of you stay with me through this time. I would also like to open this up as a time when it would be wonderful to have some guest bloggers on this site. If you have your own website or blog about scams, fraud or consumer protection issues and would like to share what you do and why you do it with the Scam Victims United readers, that would be great. Or if there is a specific topic, like medical fraud or credit card scams that you would like to focus on that would also be something we could share here.

http://scamvictimsunited.blogspot.com/

https://scamvictimsunited.wordpress.com/

Identity Theft

As some of you know, I am a big supporter of Denise Richardson and GiveMeBackMyCredit.com, so I want to share her triumphs with all of you.

Denise was recently interviewed for an article called No One is Safe: Identity Theft in Modern Times.

Here is a portion of the article

When Richardson went to apply for a separate loan, it became shockingly clear that Shawmut Bank, her mortgage lender, had incorrectly calculated her monthly payments and, in some instances, simply didn’t apply the payments at all. Richardson then took the initiative to review the payment records — both her own via the coupon stubs as well as what little information that the bank had on file — but due to Shawmut’s repeated miscalculations, it became completely hopeless to verify the remaining balance on her mortgage account.

Richardson did not, however, sit back passively and allow the Shawmut Bank to take advantage of her. In fact, she filed a federal lawsuit against the company to amend their financial faults and hinder further maltreatment from happening to others.

Richardson’s history of inaccurate credit reports does not end there. In 2001 she again became a victim of fraud, this time in the form of $9,000 worth of airline tickets charged to her credit card by an unknown identity thief. Then again in December 2009, her credit card was charged with cable billing fees from a company other than her own cable provider. In regards to all three instances, Richardson remarks, “It’s something that I didn’t even do.”

To read the article in full go to No One is Safe: Identity Theft in Modern Times.