Friday, May 19, 2006

Managing the theft of your identity

As far as I know my identity has not been stolen - yet. On the other hand I have been through some interesting credit card fraud (twice really, the second was $2K spent on computers that took 10 minutes to reverse -- AMEX didn't even blink - so dull). We've also had checks stolen -- that's much worse than credit card fraud. NEVER carry checks.

So I should have some cred when I agree with Schneier that this is a great essay on responding to identity theft. It's trivially easy to take most people's identity, so it's only a matter of time before you'll need this:
HOW TO: Get Through Having Your Identity Stolen - Consumerist

9) Oh yeah, don’t really expect the police to DO anything about it. Even if you know the name and address of the person who did it (as in my case), they don’t do jack. You have to file with your own local police department who has way better things to do. If they live outside your city, oh well. Try not to be offended that they don’t actually care, spend the energy on getting it cleaned up. See Tip #3.
The police really, really, don't care about check fraud either.

BTW, Schneier and everyone else who knows the banking industry also knows how to fix our identity theft problem. Banks must be made liable for the costs borne by the victims of identity theft. The problem would quickly become rare.

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