Tougher identity theft laws a blessing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

The push is on for tougher laws against identity theft. Earlier this week U.S. Rep. Artur Davis was back in his home state to

make everyone aware of a bill known as the Consumer Data Security and Notification Act of 2005. The law has very extensive language on how it plans to toughen legislation to bring the number of identity theft crimes down.

Through the years identity thefts have become an enormous problem for people all over the world. The most frightening thing about this particular crime is that no one is safe. Senior citizen’s, college students and middle aged men and women are all at risk to have their identities stolen.

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There is a certain feeling of helplessness when a person discovers they have fallen victim to this crime. The negative results of an identity theft can come weeks, months or years after a person has discovered they have fallen victim. Many times they discover they have been hit at the most inopportune times. As we all know good credit is very important when a person chooses to purchase a dream car or dream home. Unfortunately, these dreams can become a nightmare very quickly when a person discovers they have been funding other dreams for total strangers. When the red flag comes up on someone’s credit report they often find they have unknowingly applied for numerous credit cards and other accounts that can make their lives miserable until the situation can be resolved.

Every time I look at a police report it seems I see the number of identity thefts growing and growing. I can’t tell you how paranoid and frustrating this can be. It is especially frustrating for those who work hard to stay on top of their bills, try to keep good credit and live their lives as they are supposed to. Then one day they take a look at their credit report and find they have purchased over 400 Chia Pets and Flowbie Hair cut kits over the last year. You can imagine their surprise.

Then on the other side of the spectrum is the criminal. As far as thieves go, they are the lowest of the low. They do not even have the guts to face their victim while they are stealing from them. There is no noble form of theft, however, there are some forms that are more cowardly than others.

It makes me wonder what drives a person to commit such a cowardly act. I feel pretty sure that everyone who gets into the profession of identity theft never believes they will get caught. Fortunately, this legislation will not only make it easier for them to get caught, it will punish them to the fullest extent of the law. The new and tougher laws have been a long time coming and hopefully they will effectively fulfill what they have set out to do.

In the mean time here is a message to all those who choose to dabble in identity theft. I hope you have enjoyed your work because your days seem to be numbered. A year from now when you are picking up trash on the side of the road or making license plates I hope you will think about the time you used that credit card in the name of the little old lady you thought would never catch on. I hope you think about the new shoes you just had to have or the video game system you just could not live without. I hope you think about these things and see just how stupid this crime was. If you do not I am sure your new roommates will be more than happy to remind you every day.