Identity Theft Strikes Local Couple – Again

When someone works under your name, it can cause lots of headaches and sometimes results in financial loss. One common loss is the time lost in clearing up the employment fraud, and as we know, time is money. reports that when a couple applied for public assistance at a local government office, they discovered that someone has used their personal information to obtain a job in Ohio.  In fact, their personal info, including Social Security Number (SSN), had been used several times between 2003 and 2009 to collect paychecks from various companies in Connecticut, New Jersey and Minnesota.

Why would someone work under your identity instead of their own?  They may use your SSN and identity for any number of reasons: running from the law, evading taxes, or an illegal immigrant seeking a job.

The Social Security Number is currently as our national identification card – even though it’s not supposed to be used for identification.  A 1998 NY Times article states: WASHINGTON— For many years, Social Security cards carried an admonition that they were to be used ”for Social Security and tax purposes — not for identification.” That assurance rings hollow today. Congress has authorized so many uses of the nine-digit number, and Americans use it for so many unauthorized purposes, that it has just about become a national identifier.

Today your social security number is connected to everything.

Identity theft protection will not prevent employment fraud. However having a fraud resolution agent assist in identity theft restoration is an invaluable asset. McAfee Identity Protection, offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet protection, and alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your accounts. For additional tips, please visit

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee Consultant and Identity Theft Expert. See him discussing how to protect yourself from identity theft on (Disclosures)

Britain Scrapping National Identification Card

The Telegraph reports that UK National Identity Cards containing biometric details, including fingerprints, “were championed by the previous Labour government as a way of preventing terrorism and identity theft.” But the new administration immediately scrapped the initiative, introducing the Identity Documents Bill to Parliament in May, which provided for the cancellation of the UK National Identity Card and the Identification Card for EEA nationals, as well as the destruction of the National Identity Register. As a result, the National Identity Register and all personal information supplied with identity card applications will be destroyed by February 2011.

My opinion is this is short sighted of the UK. Bahrain, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden and the UAE are some of the countries that have planned or already started to deploy electronic national ID (e-ID) cards. These cards are more secure because they can contain smart card chips. Some countries are implementing e-IDs that also include biometrics, and the ability to digitally sign documents.

Citizens can use their e-IDs for standard uses, like getting a driver’s license or a passport, or benefits from the government. But the cards also allow citizens to access more secure e-Government applications. Some examples including secure electronic filing of taxes, e-Banking, and even e-Voting.

More information on smart cards can be found at, and at

According to Information Week, “Surveys of British nationals revealed they wouldn’t mind carrying such an ID, provided they didn’t have to pay for it. Suggested in the wake of Sept. 11, a draft bill to introduce the cards appeared in 2004, before they became law in 2006. At various points, the government promised the ID cards, containing biometric data, would help prevent everything from terrorism and identify fraud to illegal immigration and crime.”

In the US, the government has attempted to standardize the identification process once and for all with the REAL ID Act, which will likely be squashed  under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has proposed a repeal of the act. This is due to the amount of resistance RealID is facing from state governments and privacy advocates who don’t understand that the value of effective identity documentation of the degree of security that goes into an ID technology.

We have as many as 200 forms of ID circulating from state to state, plus another 14,000 birth certificates, and 49 versions of the Social Security card. We use for-profit third party information brokers and the  vital statistics agency that works to manage each state’s data. A good scanner and inkjet printer can compromise any of these documents. This is not established identity. This is an antiquated treatment of ID delivery systems. Identity has yet to be established. We need a better plan.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses Social Security Numbers as National IDs on Fox News. Disclosures