A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER AND CEO -
ID theft is a crime. It has victims. People who have their identity stolen face financial hardship, broken credit, lost job opportunities, failed housing qualifications and even jail time. In 2016, the estimated cost of ID theft was over $16 billion with over 13 million victims in the US alone. According to the US Department of Justice, in 2014, two thirds of the people who experienced ID Theft took a financial hit of over $7,000. That cost to an individual today is certainly above that.
However, there are a large number of things that ID theft takes away from victims that are not directly related to money. ID thieves forge government documents to obtain driver’s licenses, establish citizenship or obtain a green cards. They also obtain social security and other government benefits. Identity theft can be used to obtain medical services or even be used in the commission of crimes.
Your humble author has been a victim of ID theft. One that was very serious indeed. In my particular case, the criminal who stole my life committed vehicular crimes, including speeding, DUI, and leaving the scene of an accident. I did not discover these facts until one day I had to change my address at my local DMV. All I did was move to a new residence and then all hell broke loose.
DMVs around the nation are interconnected to other states and a quick, but required, check on my driver’s license by my local DMV showed that my license was suspended due to several crimes in California. I informed the now very suspicious clerk that I had not been to California for a number of years but even that simple explanation was not sufficient to get a new license. In fact, I was told that it was only because of my local driving records that my license was not suspended on the spot, leaving me unable to drive. As it was, a hold was placed on my license, giving me 14 days to correct the issue or else.
Now since I had moved to a new home the bank which put money up for my mortgage and the insurance company that insured my home were also informed of the hold up. They urged me to quickly resolve the issue or the new home, and all that it meant financially and for my family, would be jeopardized.
Thus began a personal expedition to contact California, confirm in writing from them I was not the person who had committed these crimes and relay that information in a verified format back to my local DMV. The process took days of agonizing calls, faxes, letters and even at personal cost to get an attorney involved.
In the end, the saving grace was neither the attorney nor even the bureaucrats at two state DMVs. The ID criminal had apparently also committed an armed robbery and was currently serving time in a California prison. Law enforcement officials confirmed that the person in question was indeed the guy who stole my life, sending a photocopy of his record including a nice facial picture. This last bit of evidence was sufficient for my local DMV to lift the hold and issue a new license to me.
Since then, two moves and a renewal later, I have had to go through the same process over the same crime again, keeping the documents and details in a folder that I provide, along with a newly written letter, which I present each time to my local DMV. Each time the process is the same. The DMV places a hold on my license, effectively freezing me in place and the wheels of bureaucracy turn to eventually lift the ban and free me from the chains of ID theft.
I do not blame the state, banks, insurance companies nor the bureaucrats. They are only following the laws. I do not blame the politicians who wrote the laws because they are actually responsible. I do blame the criminal - the illegal immigrant who stole my life. I also blame the activists who think there is no cost to ID theft and that the millions of victims who suffer from a political agenda are faceless, nameless citizens with no real importance in life.
When I see a list of 100 US companies that oppose current efforts to correct illegal immigration my teeth grinds in anger. Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon and others are quietly pushing an agenda that also supports ID theft. The very companies who depend on information security are themselves suspending that commitment in order to feed their need for cheap labor traveling to Silicon Valley. They and others who suspend their commitment to information security to support a political agenda are basically allowing a crime with victims to take place.
This has got to stop. The corporations and individuals who claim they want information security but at the same time support ID theft have to be called out, singled out to all their customers and clients. Seriously, would you hire an information security professional who will ignore an ID theft simply for political reasons? Would you do business with a company that will allow your ID to be stolen and do nothing to stop it?
The companies and individuals who support this flawed agenda have suspended their moral and legal obligations to protect against criminals who steal lives. These companies and individuals are supporting a policy that not only encourages crime but allows those who commit the crime to continue unabated without punishment.
CHARLES R. SMITH
CEO FOUNDER OF SOFTWAR INC.
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