McPHERSON-L ArchivesArchiver > McPHERSON > 2003-01 > 1043267910
From: "Genealogy" <>
Subject: ID THEFT ON THE RISE Researchers beware! This samething happen to me!
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 13:38:30 -0700
I'm dealing with the mountainous headache of reclaiming my life. Proving who I
am is harder than one can imagine. A year later and I am no closer straightening
out this mess. Lawyers fees have pushed me into bankruptcy. As this article
mentions. This person lost their identity through a genealogy web site. The same
with me. Please be careful!
This is just one example of many i have found.
Identity Thieves Get Online
SALEM, Ore., March 12, 2002
"It's something you don't have to be a rocket scientist to do."
convicted identity thief
ID THEFT ON THE RISE
(CBS) Identity theft has become an epidemic, with thieves surfing the Internet
for public records and rifling through the garbage for names, records and
CBS News Correspondent Jerry Bowen reports an estimated 750,000 victims a year
are affected by the crime.
The practice is as common in the newspaper police blotter now as old fashioned
burglary, and no one is immune. Ben and Tracy Bales' 16-month-old son Tyler's
identity was stolen after the boy died.
Ben explains someone claimed Tyler as a dependent to get a $1,500 tax credit.
The Baleses learned of the fraud only when the Internal Revenue Service rejected
their tax return.
It angers Ben that the Salem, Ore. couple had to bring a death certificate and
other documents to the IRS as proof when, "The person that stole his identity
didn't have to prove anything. But we had to prove that he was our child."
The Baleses believe the thief got Tyler's information from a genealogy Web site,
where he is still listed. Ironically, they still don't know who the person is,
because the IRS protects the thief's identity.
And then there's the story of Seattle resident Dawn Whitaker. Identity theft
made her life a living hell. "I lost my life," she says. "I lost who I am
because somebody else became me."
As she has worked through piles of paperwork trying to clear her credit record,
so far the thief has rung up about $5,000 in fraudulent checks and credit card
Along the way Whitaker made an amazing find: there was video from a record store
of the person using her stolen credit card, twice in 20 minutes.
But without a name for the face caught on tape, she says the police won't even
look at it. "If I knew a name, we wouldn't be going through all this," she
Identity theft is a low priority for many police departments, and that's a big
advantage for identity thief Stephen Massey. Though he is now in federal prison,
he maintains, "it's something you don't have to be a rocket scientist to do."
Massey ran up $400,000 in fraudulent credit card charges on the stolen
identities of 800 victims. He says he got help from the credit card companies.
He sees Web sites that allow you to apply for and receive credit card accounts
online as "free money." "It's better than robbing a bank," he says. "But you're
robbing a bank."
© MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.
|ID THEFT ON THE RISE Researchers beware! This samething happen to me! by "Genealogy" <>|