Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Identity Theft by Car Salesman and Blood Donorship

Identity-Theft-by-Car-Salesman-and-Blood Donorship-audio post - click to play

Imagine taking a test drive in that
cool new car you've had your eye on...
which leads to your personal identity
being stolen and used to commit financial

That's right fellow law abiding citizens,
identity theft from seemingly harmless

As identity theft has shown from many
of our past stories to be a crime which
is committed by a ever widening cross
section of America, our latest installment
sheds light on two new lows by opportunistic

First, a car salesman in suburban Chicago
has been charged with felony financial
identity theft by authorities after a
search warrant of his home reveals documents
showing another man's personal information
was used to setup cable, Internet and
telephone services.

The identity theft victim's confidential
information apparently was stolen by the
car salesman when he leased a vehicle from
the Lexus dealership.

Evidently, there's now a new way for you
to get ripped off by an auto salesman.

Our second story involves an identity thief
who abuses the trust and good will of blood
donors in a St. Louis, MO suburb. It seems
a former employee used the social security
numbers of donors to make unauthorized credit

card charges on their accounts prompting the
local Red Cross to send letters to "a few
thousand" blood donors warning
them to
"potential" identity theft.

These two stores point out how anyone can
now become an identity theft victim from
seemingly innocent normal tasks such as
shopping for a new auto or being a blood

So, while we don't advocate to stop giving
blood or auto test drives, our tip for today
is to question organizations you come in
contact with for how they will safeguard
your personal information. Ask if their
employees with access to sensitive
financial information
are required to be
bonded and/or
insured? Do they conduct
and background checks on potential


Remember you have the right to choose who
to transact with and companies (or even
other entities such as medical or
educational facilities) that can not
demonstrate to your satisfaction basic
information security procedures, simply
do not deserve your business.

Finally, check out your current credit
and public record profiles to make sure
everything is clear as identity thieves
tend to copy successful scams from other
parts of the country.


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