Many assume that identity theft (or whatever you would like to call it) is solely a product of our burgeoning internet use. While living in the information age has its pitfalls, we have seen by the recent burst of data theft cases that internet usage is often NOT the culprit.
Unfortunately, the least publicized piece of the ID theft story is what actually happens to that data once it goes astray. I think the public’s understanding of that point would lead them to keep a more watchful eye for suspicious activity. Fortunately, I dug something up for you.
Instead of wonder-geeks with artificial intelligence capable laptops, sitting in an exotic locale, hacking away at your life, what this this piece from The Redlands Daily Facts put together is something much more along the lines of what I imagined:
– Transient drug addicts, lugging bank boxes full of documents from one seedy motel to another;
– Makeshift ID card manufacturing lines that can fit into the trunk of a small car;
– Equipment readily available on eBay, purchased while sitting in coffee shops offering free wireless access;
– And lets not forget the ever-present dumpster divers, stealing your trash and turning it into gold.
I think these are the types of stories the press should be carrying – stories about how ID theft is closer to you than you think. Staying off the internet is not going to stop you from becoming a victim. If you think that is the answer, it is easy to do. Then once you get complacent about securing your home, your wallet, and even your garbage, that is when you name and address will wind up next to someone else’s picture.