Request for Comments "Identity Theft Conference, Project No. P175400"
I have been fighting identity theft since my driver's license was stolen at a TSA checkpoint at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012. I have had credit cards, utility accounts, government benefits from a state I don't live in, federal tax return, and fraudulent access to a bank account all occur in multiple states including Nevada and Michigan. I also received a phone call from a police officer in California who had arrested a woman who had a notebook full of names, social security numbers, birthdates, and other personal information of many individuals around the United States. I have joined three or four different monitoring programs. None of them have quite been able to stop the identity theft. I have a special PIN for my taxes, but that again did not stop the identity theft. I have credit freezes on 3 credit bureaus plus the National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange. The credit freezes have been the most effective at stopping identity theft. I have spent countless hours and effort writing letters, making phone calls, and doing all I can to thwart the theft of my personal information and financial security. I think and believe strongly that there is not enough public education about identity theft. Not only do individuals need to pay close attention to all of their accounts and information, they need to insure that their children's and other vulnerable adults do not become victims. I have found that people take a too relaxed attitude, "It won't happen to me." when in fact it can, and most likely will happen. In addition to increasing public education, the companies that claim to help protect people need to have more industry standards applied to them. Just like any other business there are excellent, good, and bad companies. Finding the right one that will meet all of my needs has been difficult. I have felt very alone in this fight. I am pursuing hiring a lawyer for the latest incident which involves theft of money due to fraud that was committed at a government agency in a state I have never been in. I have never visited the state and I have never been a resident which is a requirement for the benefits that were fraudulently received. Please let me know if you would like more information, and please keep me informed. I will be online on May 24th to take part in the conference. Thank you, Jacqueline Barkdull