Yesterday, another press conference by the Utah Attorney General’s office was held on the issue. Another facet of identity theft victim’s was portrayed. How would you like to be arrested for the crimes committed by an identity thief operating under your name:
The problem of work-related identity theft by illegal immigrants, fugitives, deadbeats and other ID thieves is clear. What ever they do under that identity (be it credit destruction, failure to pay tax, or crimes) become linked to the victim. Additionally, children’s identities are the most valued and the Attorney General’s office has seen the problem continue to grow. I’ve documented the problem on this site for years, now. This is another report of the press conference that focused on the young victims:
The best way to prevent much of this from occurring is by requiring employers to use E-Verify (a free, quick response Federal identity database). Senate Bill 251 (SB251 – Verification of Employment Eligibility) would do this. It easily passed the State Senate and House on a bi-partisan vote (despite opposition from those who place cheap, albeit illegal, labor over identity theft victims are opposing the bill and trying to stop or gut it -see here and here). It is on it’s way to the Governor’s desk.
Contact the Governor immediately and politely, but firmly, ask that he sign the legislation when it reaches his desk. When doing so, focus only on the child identity theft this will solve, as it is the most important issue SB251 addresses.
Further Information (for those interested)
At the press conference, the Attorney General is backing some bills that will, indeed, help (and should be commended for doing so). Unfortunately, I looked up one of the bills and it is dead for this session. Further, most of the proposals are reactionary – they are only useful after the fact and do little to prevent the use of the identity for work (a big driver in ID theft). I do hope, however, that the bills will be brought back next session, even if SB251 passes. They will be additional tools for victims and will also aid in some prevention.
It is also worthwhile to state that once you are a victim of ID theft it will follow you the rest of your life – even after you ‘clear it up’. Victims will attest that even 10 years after the theft, they still must carry documentation of such when they apply for bank accounts, loans, etc to answer the inevitable questions that will arise regarding their credit and earnings reports.
Finally, I’ve learned a bit more about Mr. Campbell’s story. He ended up in jail for four hours and faced extradition to the State’s with warrants for “his” arrest, despite not matching the suspect description. The only thing that saved him from being shipped off, was an angry, stubborn wife (who also happened to be 8 months pregnant)…possibly an officer’s worst nightmare.