TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Identity Theft: Big Enough to Steal Lawmakers' Attention

Re: Identity Theft: Big Enough to Steal Lawmakers' Attention

Steve Sobol (
Wed, 03 Aug 2005 18:05:40 -0700

Warning: a major rant follows.

> She recalls a Macy's representative calling to ask about a $2,400 bill
> on her new store card. "I asked them, 'How could you open an account
> in my name if I already have an account there?' "

Because I don't believe the store reps care.

No one at Carson Pirie Scott apparently gave a crap when someone
showed up with my stolen drivers license (ok, lost, but then someone
found it and left the state with it) and applied for a card.

I was living in Cleveland at the time, and had never lived further
west than southwest Ohio. CPS, a Chicago-based chain, never had any
Ohio stores except a few in Toledo which had closed years ago, and the
only reason I even recognized the name when I got a letter from them
was because they used to buy flooring supplies from my father.

It apparently meant nothing that the criminal trying to screw me was
quite a ways from Ohio and attempting to get credit with an Ohio

> Credit-freeze laws growing

> One rising form of legislation, the one being considered here in
> Massachusetts, allows consumers to freeze third-party access to their
> credit reports.

That's a great idea and I hope someone ends up passing a federal law
of that nature. It would give a lot of control back to the consumer.

> While lauded by many consumer advocates, such measures hint at the
> challenges of combatting ID theft. Opponents say such laws are
> intrusive measures that clunk up business practices.

And I'd like to tell those people that they can kiss my ass. The only
reason I wasn't completely screwed back in 1998 when I lost my DL was
because my credit was terrible back then -- and I was never happier
about that than when I found out that the idiot had stopped after
applying for three department store cards.

> Representatives from credit-card companies disagree that such steps
> are needed. J.P. Morgan Chase, for example, has stated that
> cardholders will not be contacted unless the firm believes they are
> victims of, or highly susceptible to, fraud.

The banks can kiss my ass too, and I say that as a consumer AND a
merchant. The merchants are the ones who lose money if there are
chargebacks. Not the consumers, not on chargebacks -- they get their
money back. Certainly not the banks. They get to charge more because
now the merchant is "high-risk." Or if you're talking about American
Express, well ... I got dumped by Amex after one chargeback. ONE. No
recourse, couldn't dispute the chargeback, nothing.

> Critics warn that such laws could hold unintended consequences for
> consumers.

> "This should be about meeting consumer expectations," said Eric
> Ellman, director of government relations for the Consumer Data
> Industry Association, testifying against credit-report freezes in
> Massachusetts. In emergency situations where credit is crucial, frozen
> reports would slow access to funds, he says.

Like what, Mr. Ellman? Gee whiz, can't the house or car purchase wait?
Free clue, jerkoff ... it's not a life-or-death issue. There are no
credit checks if you get into an accident and get Life-Flighted to the
emergency rooms. Hospital ERs ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT PATIENTS. Just
about everything else can wait.

> In addition, obstacles to credit would deter companies from pushing
> promotional deals, like 10 percent discount cards.


> But state lawmakers were skeptical. "It seems there's a very
> paternalistic theme to those comments, which is 'We know what's best
> for consumers,'" said Massachusetts state Rep William M. Straus.

> He said the issue should be turned over to the victims of ID theft:
> "Would they trade a 10 percent discount from Sears for everything
> they've been through?"

Bravissimo, State Representative Strauss! Someone who Gets It.

Steve Sobol, Professional Geek 888-480-4638 PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
Company website:
Personal blog, resume, portfolio:
E: Snail: 22674 Motnocab Road, Apple Valley, CA 92307

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I definitly feel consumers should have
the absolute right to lock up their credit bureau files so _no one_
can see them. Your application for credit, along with your password,
would serve as your permission for a business to look at and act upon
your credit. There would be no more of these credit card promotions
where cards are just sent out willy-nilly because some store or credit
card company said 'you meet our criteria; do you want a card?' If I
want a card I have to specifically ask for one. PAT]

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