Opinion

Action needed now on ID theft

By SONNY STARKS

So active duty and veterans are concerned about the theft of their personal information, huh? (News-Times, June 10.) And the only remedy we are offered is to check our credit records and bank account statements for possible fraudulent activity?

I find it interesting that all the newspaper accounts I’ve read of the heist state something to the effect of ”don’t panic yet, the thief may not know what he actually has possession of.”

Wake up, folks! Here’s an epiphany for you. If he/she/they didn’t know before the news broke, they do now.

Now is the time for all of us to act to ensure beyond a doubt that we aren’t identity theft victims.

• Today (not tomorrow or next week), pick up the phone, call your bank and insist they no longer verify who they are talking to by your date of birth or Social Security number. It’s probably unlikely you will have your mother’s maiden name written in your wallet. Make them use this to verify the caller.

• Call your credit card company and cancel your account unless they provide an alternative means of identification on all written credit applications.

• Call both senators (flood their lines with phone calls both the local and national offices) and demand immediate emergency legislation requiring FDR’s promise of never initiating a national ID number be kept and decreeing that credit records, verification, background checks and all other means of personal ID be given a completely separate number totally divorced from any number used in financial transactions or verifications or your Social Security account. Demand that each number be different so as to not create just a new national ID. Let us also all look at the initiative process now to also enact legislation in this state to override any delay on Congress’ part.

• Petition the Congress and the Department of Defense to remove this information from military ID cards. All one has to do is lose a wallet or purse and this information becomes readily available for anyone with nefarious intent. Also, do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.

• Insist on never placing a Social Security number on anything that does not actually address your social security account. This includes job applications prior to hire.

The real damage will probably not come for a few years after the thieves have lain low for awhile. And, it probably won’t come in mass droves.

Any fool can probably figure out that the criminals are not going to do anything immediately so checking your bank accounts and credit records may make you feel better but it is only a false sense of security. They have time on their side.

You can probably count on your ID being stolen anytime between now and 20 years. We, the people must force our legislators to act now.

Sonny Starks lives in Oak Harbor.

Community Events, April 2014

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