Human nature has a tendency to assign blame when something goes wrong, but in the case of identity theft it is hard to blame a single person or entity for its prevalence.
Robert Wetmore, in his letter to the editor, blames the government for not doing more to curb identity theft. His indignation is certainly understood and felt by many Americans. However, the things he mentions in his letter are a small drop in the bucket with respect to preventing identity theft.
Not using snail mail to receive or pay your bills is a good start. Refusing to allow someone to use your social security number as an ID, particularly at hospitals, is another good idea in slowing down identity theft. Some hospitals have a surprising number of low paid employees and a high turnover which means that many more people have a chance to view your sensitive information.
There are no surefire ways to prevent identity theft. Places like LifeLock claim they can prevent it, but I have known folks who have had their identity compromised even after they had signed up for identity theft protection.
Editor,(the letter writer omitted the salutation Dear) It does no good for the Georgia Department of Driver Services to have a person who is applying for a license or ID card bring in a birth certificate, other identification, address verification and proof of who they are to prevent identify theft, fraud or stolen IDs.
The DDS doesn’t send the licenses and cards by registered mail, which requires someone to produce identification and sign for the package. This is risky because most mailboxes in Hinesville and Liberty County are unsecured. A lot of boxes are broken, and the post office leaves it up to rental managers to maintain them.
All one needs to do is look at the mailboxes on Joyner Road. The rental manager complains that someone is taking a screwdriver to damage the locks and pry open the doors. In addition, mail often can be found on the ground. Those items — bank statements, bills, military correspondence — can be used to steal someone’s identity.
The post office in Hinesville is not too swift with the mail, either. My ZIP code is 31313, but I get mail with a 31315 ZIP code, which is Fort Stewart.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services dropped the ball on identity theft, along with the post office and rental managers. A foreign enemy or crazy capitalist really would benefit from the information given out from these sources.(partially blaming the government?)
Robert J. Wetmore