Identity theft is an under-documented crime according to Frank Abagnale, the author. This is the guy to listen to. He is a real life reformed identity thief who now trains agents and consults with the FBI about this crime. The book/movie, “Catch Me If You Can”, is the story of Frank Abagnale’s youthful crime spree.
An identity is stolen every four seconds and is easy to pull off compared to other crimes, less risk to life or limb, and profitable too. He says that haste on the part of merchants/banks to please their impatient customers contributes to this crime’s popularity. Even well meaning genealogy groups, class reunion websites, and veterinarian’s records can give away the answers to bank security questions. The emailer, debit/credit card user, online banking user, even someone who is already watching their accounts can be at risk.
He emphasizes looking beyond the initial people who take in your private information and on to those who may eventually use it for criminal purposes. The author also walks you through how to limit your information being shared and how far flung that personal info sharing can be even for “business” purposes.
The reader, Raymond Todd, keeps the listener engaged through the anecdotal as well as through detailed factual information about your credit security (or lack of). In this narrative, his voice takes you from blithely unaware of the depth of this problem to real concern…all in his calm tone.
As someone who accidentally caught an identity thief just as they were starting to use my SSN to establish a checking account at a national bank chain, this book really hits home. This crime was nipped in the bud but it took me months to convince the other bank that they were wrong in opening up that checking account. It’s a great reference source if you need to contact credit bureaus, banks, etc. to alert them that your identity has been stolen. This book is a real life thriller where we all are at risk.
Stealing your Life, by Frank W. Abagnale, BlackstoneAudio.com
While I’m adding to my knowledge bank through audio books, I’m also sewing adjustable vegetable print canvas aprons for my online shop ( www.etsy.com/shop/topdrawerthreads ). Or, I’m putting the finishing touches on hand knit scarves for my other shop ( www.etsy.com/shop/topdraweryarns ). My daughter’s (and friend) have an online shop, www.etsy.com/shop/yesdesigns , where they hand make and sell 70’s crocheted bikini tops, macramé jewelry, and beach wraps. My other daughter has an online shop, www.etsy.com/shop/shroombloombags , where she designs and crochets mushroom festival bags from recycled yarn.