Identity theft not fad that soon will vanish

Posted: Monday, July 29, 2002

There are plenty of cliches that address scams, rip-offs and other acts perpetrated by those bent on fraudulently separating people from their money. ''If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,'' and ''A fool and his money are often quickly parted,'' are two that come to mind.

Still, in most cases, those who are hoodwinked often are neither fools nor stupid. They're honest, hardworking people who simply have misplaced their trust or fallen for a line that few could have imagined.

And once a victim, they're sometimes too embarrassed to report the crime to law enforcement, much less family or friends. So, much of this crime goes unreported.

But identity theft continues to plague the population. ...

The distressing truth is there is much trickery in the world, so people must be on guard.

Offers to claim your unclaimed treasure, free merchandise for veterans, people soliciting to make home repairs for you, ''hot'' or ''once in a lifetime deals,'' charges on monthly bills that you didn't charge -- there are infinite ways to scam the public.

-- Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner

July 20

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