How Many Ounces Should My 4 Month Old Be Drinking Identity Theft is No Laughing Matter

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Identity Theft is No Laughing Matter

It’s a crisp November night, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and you’re waiting for your car to warm up before starting the long drive home from your dad’s house in Philly, North Jersey. There’s a tap in your driver’s side window, and you look up into a blinding beam of light. It’s the police. The officer motions for you to roll down your window; he wants to know why you are sitting in the car with the engine running.

You explain that you’re sitting in front of your dad’s house waiting for your car to warm up and you’ll be on your way in a minute or two. “License, registration, and insurance,” the officer barked, as if he hadn’t thought about what you just said. You have no criminal record, you own a business, you served in the Air Force, you haven’t been drinking, and you have a wife and two beautiful girls to come home to, so you comply without question. . “No big deal,” you’re thinking, “I still have to wait for the car to warm up anyway,” as the officer retreats to his car.

A minute later you are removed from your car, handcuffed and read your rights. You want to know what’s going on and they tell you a bench warrant, in a city you don’t remember being in, was issued, for a ticket you can’t remember receiving. “When did I get a ticket in East Orange?,“You ask more of yourself than anyone else. You start singing that sad song, and it falls on deaf ears, because the cops, well they’ve heard that familiar refrain every day from everyone they’ve ever put their bracelets on , since they first put on a uniform. You know the tune, “It’s not me officer, you got the wrong guy.”

The police even have a word for it, TODDI. Stand up for the other guy did it. Needless to say, you’re on your way to the police station to try and straighten this thing out. Your car is impounded and transported to the East Orange, NJ police station, all the while you have no information about this ticket. or his court date. It’s Friday night, you take your fingerprints and your photo, call your wife and tell her what’s going on: Court isn’t until Monday evening and because you were arrested for skipping court, there’s no bail. Funny thing is he can’t remember seeing any court notices either.

Monday can’t come fast enough; you will finally be brought to see the judge, he opened the folder “you”. Look, they are not looking “you” – you can go. Looks like someone is using your name to break the law. It doesn’t end there. This first incident was several years ago. A few weeks ago, the East Orange police, accompanied by a local patrol, showed up at your house with the same warrant. This time you are handcuffed in front of your wife who is 7 months pregnant, your 4 & 5 year old girls and your neighbors. This time it is only took three hours to resolve the situation. Now you carry a letter from the court all the time, stating that you are not the person they are looking for. This could happen for the rest of your life, you have to prove “I am me.”

Previously, we believed the cliché, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” to be pragmatic. Now, we understand the problem: You can’t prevent identity theft!

You can’t stop the millions of bits of information already in the database about you. However, you can protect yourself. First, know what’s on your credit report! For this to be effective you need information from all three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, & Experian. Second, having your credit continuously monitored will alert you to any changes or questions on your credit report; the sooner the crime is detected the sooner you get your life back. Unfortunately, too many of us play the wait-and-see card, credit I feel anyway game, or I do not use the Internet to be safe charade, which allows these thieves to run up hundreds or thousands of dollars on new. account opened in our name, apply for employment or medical benefits in our name, or as in this case, use your name to avoid criminal prosecution.

All that stands between you, work, health care, a home or a loan, a criminal record, or liability for income taxes, because some scoundrel took a job using your personal information, is your good name. A September 2003 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Report states: 1 in 6 victims of identity theft each year. Wait and see is no longer an option. Your good name asks you to be active.

I love a good laugh, but identity theft is no joke, even if Citibank® would have you believe otherwise. If you have watched any television at all, since the commercials debuted. You were more likely to see the commercial where potatoes in the couch and the “valley-girl” voice-over complains, “first I hit the electricity bill and then I went to the mall – fifteen hundred. dollar dollar for a leather bustier.” “He” doesn’t care, it’s not his money. He’s already drained the “poor slob’s” current account.

I know humor sells and it sounds good unless you are the “poor slob,” or any of the other millions who have been victims. Identity theft is not a new crime; the necessary information became readily available. Partly due to the internet and lax security protocols in our banks and other financial institutions’, some of the blame rests with our need for convenience. We let our waitress or waitress walk away, to who knows where, to who knows what, with our credit cards. We leave our outgoing mail in our mailboxes with the flag up, signaling that anyone can see it. We throw away important documents, which have sensitive personal information on them, without shredding them first. We carry our social security card and use it as a form of ID. It’s no wonder that for the sixth year in a row, identity theft is the top consumer complaint.

In July 2003, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) released a survey of victims of this crime, studying not only areas previously explored by the FTC, GAO and other consumer groups, but also quantifying areas that have never been explored. . tested. Highlights of the study include:

o Fraud charges now average over $90,000 per name used.

o Almost 85% of all victims receive information about their identity theft case in a negative way. Only 15% of victims are found due to a proactive action taken by a business.

o The average time spent by victims is approximately 600 hours, an increase of more than 247% over previous studies.

o The emotional impact of identity theft has been found to parallel that of victims of violent crime.

o The reaction of the various entities to be communicated to the victims, continues to lack sensitivity in most cases and has not improved since the study was published in 2000 (Nowhere to Turn).

There are five types of Identity Theft: Financial (accounting for only 27% of all Identity Theft), Criminal, Medical, Social Security and Driver’s License. Identity thieves take advantage of a fundamentally flawed system. Credit applications can be submitted online, by phone or in person. According to the police, the average arrest rate is under 5% of all reported cases. This is primarily due to the fact that identity theft often crosses jurisdictional boundaries, with crimes often occurring outside of the city or county where the victim lives. Where does the victim report these crimes under these circumstances? When was the last time you checked your credit report? Did you check your bank statement last month or is it still not open? This is a crime of opportunity and diligence is the only way to catch it.

The next time you are in your house of worship, on a bus, at a ball game, or at a movie look at the three people on your left and then the three on your right, chances are one of them is or has been a victim of Theft identity or know someone who has. I don’t care how funny you think those Citibank® ads are, when someone uses your name and the police come to take you out of your house in front of your family and neighbors, you’re not laughing.

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