How Government Documents are used in Identity Theft?
If you look into your wallet, you may find at least one or two government documents – the driver’s license or State ID card. You may be amazed to find how many government documents you currently have, and the value of each, when you study the following list:
- Driver’s license: Other than your driver’s license number, the driver’s license has your name, address, hair color, eye color, weight, height, and your DOB. You show it to policemen even when you are not driving your car and at airports to pass through some security checkpoints. Your driver’s license is generally requested when you buy merchandise by personal check. As a matter of fact, the cashier often writes down the driver’s license number on your check. Since your driver’s license has so much personal information, it is sensible to cut up the expired one into tiny pieces that cannot be reassembled together. The identity thief can create a phony driver’s license with your personal details to open an account in your identity, cash fake check in your name or use stolen personal checks.
- Birth certificate: Birth certificate shows that you are a U.S. citizen. It has your father’s name; mother’s maiden name; city and state you were born in; year, day, and time you were born. You must have a birth certificate to get state ID card, passport, and so on. Just to be safe, keep your birth certificates in a safety deposit box or locked file cabinet.
- Passport: Your passport is also a valuable document for identity thief. It has your address, picture, and full name and it shows that you are a U.S. citizen. You bring your passport when you travel overseas. You show it to customs in other country and upon return to U.S. Your passport can be employed by terrorist organizations attempting to gain entry into a country. If your passport is stolen or lost, it can be sold to crime organizations and used to establish United States citizenship. It should be stored in locked file cabinet or a safety deposit box.
- Auto registration form: Auto registration form contains your full name and home address on it as the ownership proof. The identity thief can use your name and other information to purchase a car; your name and address will show up on the auto registration. Store this document in safe places.
- State ID cards: They are used as identification for individuals who don’t have driver’s license. Other than your ID number, it has your name, address, and DOB.
- Social Security Card: Social security numbers are important confidential data. An identity thief can obtain social security numbers by stealing wallets, handbags and mail (bank and credit card information and tax statements). Information may also be stolen from an unsecured website, from business or personnel records or from the garbage of businesses. The identity thief can use a stolen social security number to apply for credit cards or obtain other personal information.
To open a new bank account at many banks, two kinds of ID are required; current passport or unexpired (current) driver’s license is a form of ID, and the other is usually either an unexpired credit card or birth certificate.