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Thursday, October 10, 2002

Identity theft

Yesterday I talked to a guy who was arrested for writing bad checks in another county. He told me he's never even been to that county. I asked him if he had ever heard of identity theft. He hadn't. If I had known then what I know today, I would have asked him if he was an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Today, this is the big news around here: A former State of Illinois Department of Human Services employee is accused of identity theft. The identities stolen? An estimated 5,000 of the 15,000 DHS employees. The former employee allegedly sold the identities to a man in South Bend, Indiana, who then used them to buy goods on credit. The identities of the former employee and the South Bend man have not been released to the public.

Identity theft hits state workers and Advice for victims of identity theft

Jacobson said the instant people find out their identities have been stolen, they should contact all three major credit-reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. All three can be reached via their Web sites: www.equifax.com, www.transunion.com and www.experian.com.

One additional problem, though, and not fully reported in the articles. Management at DHS may have sat on what they knew about the thefts instead of notifying those affected right off the bat. What is the deal with people sitting on valuable information? Something to do with the greater good, I guess.

Posted by Marie at October 10, 2002 5:40 PM