Identity Theft from Divorce Records
Your divorce is now final, but you have
just begun the long road ahead with
Imagine enduring the long mental anguish
and financially draining experience of a
divorce which in many states can last for
two or more years.
Finally the legal paper work gets signed and
finalized with the court to dissolve the
marriage putting you once again with the
rest of your life to look forward.
But, wait - you have just entered into
a new danger zone. That's right, identity
theft victim you are now primed to become.
Because traditionally divorce records have
been considered part of the public
domain thus stripping you of your privacy.
This means all of your more confidential
personal and financial information
pertaining to your divorce proceedings
can be easily read by anyone with
access (or wanting to take advantage of your):
- Social Security number
- Home Addresses
- Bank Account Number
- Bank Account Holder's Name
- Bank Account Balance
- Annual Salary
- Income and Net Worth
As you can see from the list above, everything an
identity thief would need to assume your identity
and commit financial fraud in your name is readily
For identity thieves, it doesn't get any easier
than this to acquire your most sensitive
personal information. The identity thief
doesn't even have to steal your wallet or mail.
Just a simple visit to the local county courthouse
can reap a huge amount of potential identity theft
Just in the state of California during 2004, over
150,000 petitions for marital dissolution
were filed with the courts.
Given, it's widely believed that overall 1 out of
every 2 marriages end in divorce, identity
thieves have a very deep and widely
distributed base of potential victims to
commit financial fraud against nationwide.
Fortunately, one state, California is once again
leading the country by doing something about
preventing identity theft.
In a recent 12 to 3 vote by the Appropriations
Committee, a bill which would allow judges to
edit out personal and financial information
from divorce records (upon spousal request)
is moving forward to the general assembly.
Should this bill continue to move forward and become
a new law, identity thieves would be dealt a
severe blow to how they harvest the
confidential data of countless numbers
of potential identity theft victims.
So, until this bill becomes law in California or for
those millions of individuals residing in states that
do not have this type of financial privacy coverage,
our tip for today is to seek protection through the
only means we know available.
Conduct an identity fraud sweep through your public
records - particularly for the type of identity theft
which can occur that falls below the radar of
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