Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Identity Theft FTL

Within the past year, I have received notification from three companies that personal identification about me may have been accidentally disclosed to unintended parties.

Wells Fargo had a server disappear in shipment, which may have had all kinds of juicy info on it including names, SSNs, and bank account information. Wells Fargo, of course, does my home mortgage.

A Medical Insurance company that I don't even do business with, but which provides services for my place of employment, recently contacted me to say a server was stolen out of a locked office at their facility, which had names and SSNs.

Finally, my newspaper informed me that they accidentally shipped a piece of paper including some billing information (we have our newspaper paid direct from our checking account, much as we do with our phone and electric bills) to their carriers.

Out of the three, only Wells Fargo offered to give us a year's free subscription to a credit monitoring service. I wasn't going to take them up on it, but after two additional breaches in the course of the following months, it's probably about time to do that.

And of course, because no tragedy in America happens without someone standing to make some cash, I recently saw a sign on an insurance company for "Identity Theft Insurance." What the hell is that? It's not like you can say, "My identity got stolen, I need a settlement to replace it."

Ah, the perils of the modern age.

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