Recently Kelly Taplin of Byram, Mississippi pled guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced on July 11, 2013 and is facing a mandatory two year prison sentence as well as a fine that could be as high as $250,000. Taplin was employed as a teller at the Trustmark National Bank in Byram, Mississippi where she had access to a customer’s name, Social Security number and date of birth. She used this information to take out a loan in the customer’s name, the proceeds of which she used for her own personal purposes. This case again points out that regardless of what you do, you are vulnerable to identity theft because of the many places that have personal information on you that can be accessed either by an identity thief who hacks into the information from outside a company with which you do business or, as in this case, by an identity thief within the company itself who has access to your information.
If you are a regular reader of Scamicide or have read my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age,” you are aware of the many important steps you need to do to protect yourself from identity theft. However, even if you do all of these steps, you are still a potential victim of identity theft because of all of the companies and agencies that have personal information about you that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. It is therefore important for you to limit as much as you can, the personal information that you provide to any company or agency with which you do business. In particular do not provide your Social Security number unless you must. However, you should also ask any company or agency that does gather your personal information what they do to protect the security of that information from outside hackers or inside criminals and then try to limit your involvement with companies that do not properly protect your information.