Criminal Identity Theft in California: Seeking Solutions to the "Worst Case Scenario"

Criminal identity theft occurs when an imposter gives another person’s name and personal information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number, and date of birth, to a law enforcement officer upon arrest or during an investigation. Or the imposter may give to law enforcement a counterfeit driver’s license or identification card containing another person’s information.  Read Beth Given's presentation at the Identity Theft Summit in 2005.

PRC Portrayed in Lifetime Movie: Identity Theft - The Michelle Brown Story

A few years ago a Southern California woman named Michelle Brown contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse seeking help regarding an especially difficult identity theft situation. The thief obtained information provided by Michelle on a housing application and procured over $50,000 in goods and services including a lease for an apartment, a $32,000 truck, and liposuction. The thief also obtained a state- issued ID using Michelle's name and later engaged in drug smuggling for which she was arrested as Michelle.

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues

The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

Identity Theft: The Growing Problem of Wrongful Criminal Records

The victim of criminal identity theft may not know that someone has burdened them with a criminal record until they are stopped for a traffic violation, the officer runs a check on their driver's license number, and they're arrested on the spot. Or perhaps they apply for a job, are turned down, and obtain the results of the background check because the employer is actually complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (something that is not being done across the board, and which I'll talk about in a moment).

How to Choose an Identity Theft Monitoring Service

If you’re thinking about purchasing identity theft monitoring services, there is now a “shopping guide” that will help you choose the best service for you. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) participated in a task force hosted by the Consumer Federation of America to develop a set of guidelines for the identity theft monitoring industry. Members of the task force, which included industry, consumer, and government representatives, researched the industry for 16 months and recently published Best Practices for Identity Theft Services (PDF). The report provides a blueprint for what identity theft monitoring services should be doing.

I'm Burdened with My Sister's Criminal Record

December 31, 1969
December 31,1969

The first time I was informed of my sister using my identity was sometime in the early part of the 90's. I went down to the San Fernando courthouse. It takes me an hour to get to the San Fernando Valley and another hour to get back. My mother suggested for me not to cause any legal trouble for my sister. The court assumed I was guilty until they took my fingerprints and my mother told them it was her other daughter, who committed the crime. It was a completely humiliating experience.

A Mother's Identity Theft Diary

December 31, 1969
December 31,1969

Received a call from Mr. Sorenson telling me that Sarah, my daughter (age 19), had tried to cash one of his stolen checks at the Wells Fargo Bank in El Cerrito. He informed me that when his car was stolen, the thief also took his checkbook. His car had been recovered and he wanted some of this stuff back. He said he had spoken with the person that had attempted to cash his check. The bank teller had called him while the person was waiting at the teller's window.

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