Identity theft is becoming a HUGE problem in this country...HUGE...
Here is just a sampling:
Illegals living in BOSTON obtain North Carolina driver's licenses
Officials from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today confirmed that four employees have been arrested by DMV investigators and FBI agents and charged with creating and selling false driver licenses, identification cards and vehicle registration documents by using customer information they had access to while performing their job duties. FBI and DMV investigators say the suspects stole the information from confidential computer records, created counterfeit documents and sold them to four “brokers” who bought them to resell to other criminals.
Google search is most helpful in turning up stolen identities, along with Social Security numbers. Google, of course, is not the only search engine that can find stolen identities. Using the same search string and English-language restriction that returned 127 results when entered in Google, Ask Jeeves delivered only 11 results. Nonetheless, several links led to personal information, including a text file with 47 pages of credit-card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal data. Yahoo returned 42 results, including an Arabic site with personal information posted in Roman characters and a cached Unix-oriented site with personal information. MSN Search returned 401 results, but most of the summary-result information was unreadable -- a majority of the links pointed to non-HTML file formats that present garbled text when accessed with a Web browser.
Neither Ask Jeeves, MSN Search, nor Yahoo returned a link to the Russian carding site. Searching for a specific Social Security number found on the Russian site produced a single Google result and no results using the other three search engines. This could be the result of less effective indexing, more effective index policing, or other factors.
Florida resident Marjorie Roberson is among those whose personal information can be found on the Russian site. She believes her information was stolen last year when she responded to a phishing E-mail that she took to be an official message from America Online. The information on the carding site supports that view: Many of the field identifiers preceding the posted data begin with the letters "Aol."
Roberson is surprised that her information is still available online. "I contacted Google and told them this information was obtained illegally," she says, adding that she has also complained to the Federal Trade Commission and notified the major credit bureaus to place fraud alerts on her credit files.
"The problem I keep having is people keep trying to open these accounts," Roberson explains. Just last week, she says, someone tried to write a check on her bank account using a generic corporate check from Office Depot. While she hasn't suffered any financial loss, being a victim of identity theft has cost her in terms of time and aggravation.
"There ought to be some type of protection," Roberson says.
Hawaii is a "testing ground" for criminals and mail identity theft. The Honolulu Police Department also recently doubled the number of detectives assigned to chasing the thieves who search mailboxes for bank statements and pre-screened credit offers. Thieves typically fill out the credit applications, then intercept the cards when they arrive, or submit change-of-address forms to redirect mail.
The thefts are testing the Hawaii banking industry's defenses against financial fraud. They are also revealing the difficulty in catching and prosecuting mail thieves.
Mail thieves are hopping from point to point, cruising neighborhood streets in search of what's in the mailboxes.
"I've seen crooks write a $40,000 check from stolen mail," Murphy said. "Those pre-approved credit card applications and convenience checks from banks that come in the mail are like gold to them."
Mail is even being bartered for drugs like crystal methamphetamine, better known as "ice."
"They'll say, get me some credit cards and I'll pay you with ice," Murphy said. "I've arrested a lot of people who say that."
Even if you are careful with your personal information, carelessness or not-so-secure identity information has been stolen from credit card companies and credit card processing centers on a regular basis...one of the most recent from a health center in Florida:
The apparent theft of a missing laptop computer has put 3,851 patients of University of Florida physicians at risk for identity theft.On Aug. 1, UF was notified that a computer was stolen from ChartOne, a Boston-based firm that the Health Science Center contracts with to help manage medical records. In the laptop's database were the names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and medical record numbers for more than 3,000 patients spread over a wide area.
In Arkidelphia, Arkansas, 119 Illegal Aliens arrested ON THE JOB WHILE USING A U.S. CITIZEN'S STOLEN IDENTITY
This 2002 report discussed "Identity Fraud - Prevalance and Links to Alien Illegal Activities"
And, finally, this article from the Center for Immigration Studies in April 2002 "America's Identity Crisis" Document Fraud is Pervasive and Pernicious
This problem isn't new...it has been here for a long, long time...and it is getting worse...
The Illegal Aliens are getting braver...criminals are profiting from the illegal alienn community...we are the victims...
As long as there is a market of illegals, this won't get any better...
We have to stop the flood of illegals that are entering this country and damaging our tax system; ruining our health care system; threatening our very existence by stealing and abusing our identities...