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Identity Politics

Just as a word to the wise, you really don't want to become a victim of identity theft. It's not fun, and it's not done with yet.

December 1, 2004 | Permalink


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Damn. Bastards. That happened to a friend, and she said it was like herpes: you deal with everything you can, but it comes back later when you least expect it, thanks to all the shit sloshing round different databases.

Good luck. I suspect there are people who are now trained to chase this down: get in touch with one of them.

Posted by: ahem | Dec 1, 2004 8:18:39 PM


Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Dec 1, 2004 9:04:17 PM

Mother fuckers.

Posted by: Mathew Yglesiass | Dec 1, 2004 9:13:37 PM

Matt thinks he has problems. Those of us who've been around since the sixties know from solipsistic theory that only one mind exists - so identity theft is not theoretically possible but happens anyway.

And by the way, Republicans don't share in that one mind.

Posted by: Bob McManus | Dec 1, 2004 9:47:53 PM

Damn. That sucks.

Posted by: Matt Iglesias | Dec 1, 2004 9:51:20 PM

Watch the WiFi - a family member consults in this area, and data security is a huge unsolved problem, for businesses as well as individuals. Look forward to high levels of encryption for even casual transactions in future - that's my guess, anyway.
And I'm sorry - it's a horrible burden to straighten it out. Give us all the gory details and raise gale flag on this - it will do much good.
Best -

Posted by: grishaxxx | Dec 1, 2004 9:56:53 PM

No, I'm Spartacu.. er Yglesias

Posted by: cynical joe | Dec 1, 2004 10:35:03 PM

I think a lawyer can get your SS# changed for you, if it really becomes necessary. I believe it's not a total solution, as certain databases will tie the new one to the old one, but my understanding is this "nuclear option" is sometimes necessary. Bonne chance.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Dec 1, 2004 10:50:57 PM

Wilkinson has not been posting much recently at his blog. Not that he would use your credit cards, but I am rereading recent stuff here very closely.

That obviously isn't me above. I read Van Vogt in the sixties, A = !A, there is no identity, no solipsistic mind, no mind at all, no world, no Buddha. Ommmmm. Groatcakes.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 1, 2004 11:58:47 PM

Sorry Bob, best I could muster at a moment's notice. You do have a very distinctive style that I'm sure would take years to master.

The lesson: if you meet the Master of Null-A on the road....

Take his place.

Posted by: Windhorse | Dec 2, 2004 2:13:07 AM

Luckily, this sort of thing never happens to me.

Posted by: Al | Dec 2, 2004 4:03:14 AM

It's not so bad when an upstanding sort steals your identity. Credit rating goes up. Get invited to interesting parties. Google ranking rises. Etc.

Posted by: ostap | Dec 2, 2004 8:47:11 AM

Luckily, this sort of thing never happens to me.

That would actually be a pretty funny comment by Stalker Al (the identity thief) if I didn't know how much it sucked when it happens (my sister had her identity stolen - the good thing is that banks are really up on their procedures of how to fix it - Citi sent her a whole packet of materials detailing all the step she needed to take).

Posted by: Al | Dec 2, 2004 11:22:58 AM

Watch the WiFi - a family member consults in this area, and data security is a huge unsolved problem, for businesses as well as individuals. Look forward to high levels of encryption for even casual transactions in future - that's my guess, anyway.

this is an overblown threat. all reputable sites use SSL encryption for the movement of sensitive data, and that standard remains pretty bulletproof. sniffing wifi for useful information takes a long time, has a limited range, and is technically complicated enough to discourage most people. It's a lot easier to steal somebody's trash and look for credit card statements.

With that said, it's a good idea not to send any sensitive information through email or IM unless you know how to secure it and have done so.

Posted by: tom | Dec 2, 2004 11:36:14 AM

If you are the Governor of Texas, they can change your drivers license number.

that said, a friend was picked up in Seattle for jumping bail on a prostitution charge in Spokane. Only after she was put on prison bus and shipped across the state did somebody bother to look at the mug shot. Oops. Wrong chick!

It seems that somebody had stolen Christy's wallet two years earlier and had used her license as ID when the thief was picked up for hooking.

Posted by: def | Dec 2, 2004 6:52:37 PM

Identity theft sucks big time. In my case, it added insult to injury.

Every two years, the counties of San Diego and Riverside confuse me with a loser by the same first and last name and similar birthdate, who is $45k behind on child support, and try to have my wages and tax refunds taken. Last time this happened, I got the "you've got the wrong guy" form from them and filled it out, as instructed, with a photocopy of my driver's license and social security card. That just happens to be the week that a guy in my firm's mail room started stealing mail and using it for identity theft. He had my name, address, phone number, SSN, DL #, birth date, etc. Bad news.

Posted by: Mr. Fed | Dec 2, 2004 6:53:08 PM

Police Bust Identity-Theft Ring; Suspect Planned To Sell Items In Africa

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Dec 4, 2004 11:54:13 PM

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