by Mike Masnick

Credit System Needs To Be Cleaned Up To Prevent Identity Theft

from the not-a-good-system dept

Monday's big bust of the identity theft gang that stole thousands of people's identity and millions of their dollars has brought up a lot of issues. Despite the thousands of reports telling people what to do to avoid having their identity stolen, this scam wouldn't have been stopped by any of those methods, suggesting there are bigger problems. In fact, plenty of people are suggesting that the problem is only likely to get much worse, which is leading some to come up with some suggestions on how to prevent this type of identity theft in the future. It seems that the real problem is how the various credit bureaus are set up - and how they make it easy for companies to get your credit report, but difficult for you to view your own credit report, or to alert you when changes have been made to it. If the credit bureaus were forced to send you an email alert telling you when changes had been made, or to let you log in to your account (like any online bank system), a lot of this would have been prevented - as people would have caught the thefts much more quickly.

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  1. identicon
    Jay, 29 Nov 2002 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Why should the credit agencies change?

    My old roommate was in a similar situation. This shady guy that he used to hang around with stole his wallet, took his social security card across the PA/NJ state line and got a Drivers License in NJ, which he then used to open up a checking account and get 6 credit cards in Pennsylvania. He wrote over $8000 in bad checks and maxed out all the credit cards, and my friend actually spent a month in jail and had to travel over 100 miles to and from court to get it all sorted out. His credit history is ruined, and he's lucky to have a checking account, although its highly unlikely he'll ever get a credit card in the next 10 years.

    My roommate knows who did it, and the really sad thing about this is that the police have done nothing to prosecute the person responsible, even though a simple handwriting analysis would provide sufficient grounds for investigation into the matter.

    Like you said, the credit bureaus, and even the police don't give a damn about your credit standing if you aren't a criminal. If you're a victim, you're screwed.

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