June 24, 2005
Identify theft is crossing state lines
Published June 19, 2005
By: Chris Welsch
This article is about identity theft, not only the typical use to make fraudulent charges or withdrawals, but identity theft is now being associated with other crimes - from drug dealing or large scale fraud. The charges leave the innocent person's name on the arrest warrant and you can be stopped at any time, almost anywhere, finding you're in a position to prove your innocence. You are guilty of this crime until you can prove otherwise!
Currently there are at least one million people in this position. The article states that 9.9 million American s had been a victim of identity theft in 2002, four percent associated with more serious problems -- crimes had been commited in their names.... 400,000 people per year.
Ohio, Virginia and California have created a special program called the "passport" program for residents who are identity theft victims, able to prove their innocence readily. Minnesota does not have such a program.
In our group discussion, Shannon felt like this was like a lottery or a case of bad luck and didn't think we could do much about it until it happens to us. Ryan discussed how the thieves are now more like middle men -- selling the stolen information very quickly, thus making it almost impossible to find the thief.
Based on the increased sophistication of of these thieves and of the criminal databases, I think Minnesota should research the idea and programs other states have put into effect. How would you like to be detained by a customs agent finding yourself in a predicament where you would have to prove your innocence before being let go .....