Prevent ID theft?

  A whole book on this subect?? It's pretty simple, don't give anybody your name, date of birth, social security number or any other personal info. That include the government and police.


People should think extremes to save selves from ID thieves
Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 3, 2007 12:00 AM

Phoenix police officer Sandra Raby and analyst Lisa Ruggeri try to protect law officers from on-the-job death threats. As they learned to "backstop" police by cleansing personal records in the public domain, they realized how much information is readily available to thieves.

So Raby, who oversees a bureau responsible for protecting police officers from death threats, and Ruggeri, who digs up information on bad guys, began giving ID-protection classes to officers.

That led to tips for consumers in A Guide on: How To Protect Your Personal Information.

"This is not 100 percent foolproof," says Raby, a 23-year officer. "(But) they're more protected than if they didn't do it. . . . And everybody needs to be concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft."

Identity thieves victimized nearly 9million Americans last year, according to the 2006 Identity Fraud Survey Report by Javelin Strategy & Research. The cost to U.S. businesses: $57 billion.

Arizona leads the nation in identity-crime complaints to the Federal Trade Commission; metro Phoenix is the No.1 urban area.

Ruggeri, who has 15 years in crime analysis, has erased all records of her current home address from public documents. She monitors her debit-card account daily. Nothing in her purse contains her current address.

To obtain a supermarket discount card, she advocates filling out the registration form with false information.

She and Raby also recommend getting a commercial mailbox and eliminating all use of your home address.

They also say you should never give out a home telephone number.

FBI Agent Deb McCarley urges consumers to take "reasonable steps" for self-protection.

Professor George Curtis, director of the Economic Crime Investigation Institute at Utica College in New York, says every person has a different balance of risk and comfort:

"I think you need to be diligent but not paranoid."