History of my concern: After the Cedar Fire in 2003, my daughter opened a bank account for the FEMA funds covering her losses and at that time moved to Del Mar.
A friend, pretending to help watch her daughter after school some days, intercepted her bank statements and began to siphon off the funds via Pay Pal payments and ATM cash withdrawals. Then he would make deposits to cover the withdrawals with checks that appeared to be pay-checks but would later bounce.
She learned of this when the bank called to say they were closing the account. It only had about $2,000.00 left. She attempted to file a police report in San Diego, where the bank was located, but was told she had to file in Del Mar. After jumping through a lot of hoops a report was filed and a deputy came to pick up the evidence. That was the last she ever heard about that.
I called a friend who worked in the court system and gave her the case number and other references – she said there was no such case.
In the mean time, when she attempted to clear up the identity theft and get her money back, she says she was treated like she was the cause of the problem, not the person impersonating her.
She moved to another state for the next couple of years. When she returned to California, and applied for power, she was told she had a delinquent account for an address she never lived at and at a time when she was out of state but she was told that she had to either pay this other account, that was not hers, or go without power.
She has lived in fear that some other debts will turn up.
Since Identity Theft is one of the most frustrating white collar crimes today and the victim is treated like the criminal, it is time to enact a law protecting the innocent victims. Make those involved in the crime; by granting the credit, the sale of merchandise, the loaning of money and other ways of violating the real persons identity, to be responsible to clear up the problem for the person who was violated.
In the cases where the victim is aware of who may have stolen the social security number and other information, they must report that information to open the investigation. After that is should be up to those who were defrauded and the authorities to correct the information and leave the victim with a clear credit history.
Resolution on Identity Theft
Whereas Identify Theft, which has become a major white collar crime, running into the Billions of dollars in losses and is not a laughing matter, contrary to Hollywood’s recent version;
And Whereas the victim is the person who has had their name, social security number and credit stolen; has to go to great lengths to clear their name and credit, at their expense and time;
And whereas the victim is often treated like the criminal, while attempting to clear their name and restore their credit and the credit reporting industry is found to have many errors in their reports;
Be it Hereby Resolved that the San Diego County Democratic Party and the California Democratic Party, ask that all California elected legislators, work to create and pass legislation that will put the burden on the parties that allowed the impersonator to be granted loans, sold items, and otherwise caused damage to the innocent persons:
And further be is resolved that any party defrauded by the criminal, shall be able to seek restitution, only from the person or persons using a stolen identity and not the victim.
Comments: Legislation on this issue will probably draw intense opposition from the financial and credit services, but since Hollywood has seen fit to make a comedy of the situation, it is time to take on this matter.
- Identity Theft | State of California – Department of Justice – Kamala D. Harris Attorney General (ca.gov)
- Identity thieves nail 1 in 10 Coloradans. Don’t be one. (denverpost.com)
- Beware! Identity thieves are targeting your tax refund (infoworld.com)
- Erie man indicted in identity theft case (goerie.com)