Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Losing Your Identity

Identity theft has been around for a long time and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It's all over the news and for those of us in the Security Profession it's obviously a hot topic. I don't know anyone who has ever been hit real hard by it but I have been a victim at least twice in my life. Once was several years ago when MasterCard called me to notify me of some "suspicious" activity on my card. There had been about $900 worth of calls to 1-900 Phone Sex numbers made in the previous 2 days. Luckily I was able to prove that it wasn't me and they even caught the guy because his number showed up on the charges. The other time was a "mistake" at least that's what my dad told me. We both have the same name, at least part of it. His middle name is the same as my first name and it is the name that he goes by (I go by a nickname). One day a Credit Card offer came in the mail to his house but in my name. He wasn't paying close attention and applied for the card and got it. Doesn't make me feel very good about the security measures that a card company takes to ensure that the person getting the card is actually the person he claims to be. I got off easy both times. I didn't have to pay for any of the phone sex calls (I promise I didn't make them) and my dad was always on time with payments and actually helped my credit a little I guess.

The reason I'm writing this is because in the last week at least 2 guys at the office have had their cards used frequently. All of this has yet to be played out, but one could possibly be out about $300 and the other almost $1000. They both also know someone else who has been hit in the last week or so. As of yet they don't know how their credit card numbers, nor their friends were compromised, but it leads me to be diligent about keeping a close eye on my statements and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

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