Monday, February 13, 2006

14 Million Americans at Risk For Identity Theft

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Recent AP survey of only 11 states reveals millions
of motorists could be left highly vulnerable to
identity theft until 2011 if no action taken.


This is frightening to discover that so many
Americans have their social security number (SSN)
listed on their personal driver's license card.

To put the magnitude of that number in perspective,
9.9 million Americans had their personal information
exposed solely in 2005. So, to knowingly understand
there's a 50% increase (over 2005) in the potential
at risk population totallying 14 million Americans is
shocking.

However, this situation goes from shocking
to outrageous when you consider the social security
number's ultimate value as the single most valueable
piece of personal information identity thieves can
acquire is unsurpassed.

Just think, every time a retail clerk asks to see
your driver's license to complete a check or credit
card transaction. Or, how about the times a job
applicant is required to have their driver's license
photo copied as a condition of employment.

The social security number along with your name,
address and date of birth are keys to opening
up new credit relationships. With this information
an identity thief can and will be able to quickly
max out new credit card accounts, buy automobiles,
run up a new wireless phone bill, & worse.

In some states, the personal liability is extremely
high. For example:

  • 719,658 in Colorado
  • 2,600,000 in Ohio

So, our tip for today is immediately get a replacement
driver's license which does not include your social
security number (ssn).

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