Saturday, October 6, 2007

Identity Theft: A Most Personal Kind of Theft

by Licia Corbella

"A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one." - Lord Jeffery Amherst (1717-1797)

That adage has likely never been more true than today even though morals have slackened to the point where the vulgar, crass and immoral often seem to be the most revered in this age of celebrity worship.

Rather, a good name nowadays can simply be stolen by crooks in a crime that can destroy lives.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing areas of crime in the world as more of our personal information is stored on computers that are vulnerable to hackers.

The only thing that isn't fast, it seems, is the response so far by legislators to keep pace with these hi-tech criminals and to therefore protect citizens against this often devastating crime -- a crime that can rob someone not just of their good name, but their good credit rating and much more. The ramifications are immense.

On Tuesday, Canada's federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the Conservative government will change the laws in order to make it illegal for thieves to collect and keep other peoples' personal information, even before it is used to steal from those individuals.

Currently, these identity thieves can only be charged if they use the personal information to commit fraud and steal. That means those who collect the information and then sell it to other criminals, cannot be prosecuted.

It is a gaping hole in our legal system that needs to be quickly sewn up.

In Canada last year, more than $290 million in credit card fraud was reported to the major credit card companies.

The Interac Association, reports that almost $95 million in debit card fraud occurred last year alone.

Often this crime was done by store clerks who would use a hidden skimming machine to collect the cards' data onto other fraudulent cards.

This is legislation all of the political parties in Ottawa should work to pass as quickly as possible.

After all, to respond to that famous question: "What's in a name?," the answer is: our very identity.

Lucia Corbella, Winnipeg Sun, October 6, 2007

For more information on ID security, visit one of our three The UPS Store Winnipeg Downtown locations or click here. Or if you are in the Interlake region call or visit our Selkirk location.

When you use mailbox services at The UPS Store, you get security, convenience, professionalism and other services to help run your business (or your personal life) more efficiently.

Discover the benefits of mailbox services at The UPS Store:

  • A real street address, not a P.O. Box
    A street address can provide a professional image for your business.
  • Secure, 24-hour access
    Pick up your mail when it’s convenient for you. Your mail and packages stay safe and confidential.
  • Package notification
    We’ll let you know when your packages arrive.
  • Full-service mail and package receiving
    We accept packages from all carriers, so you’ll never miss a delivery.
  • Mail holding and forwarding
    We’ll hold your packages in a secure location for pick-up at your convenience or forward them to you, wherever you are.
Call-in MailCheck®
Save time. Save a trip. Call us to find out if you have mail.

No comments: