Identity Theft Resource Center Applauds the DoD Military ID Change

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(San Diego, CA) Since 1969, our military members have had their Social Security numbers used as their military ID number. It was on dog tags, items of clothing, duffle bags, and all their records. This policy potentially put service members at high risk of identity theft due to the multiple places the SSN could be accessed by anyone looking to commit identity theft. This could be another military member, a civilian working on base, or even the enemy. The simple act of losing a wallet could jeopardize a serviceman.

As one serviceman said to Congress, "While I am concerned about myself, I am even more concerned for those 19-year-old soldiers and their families that are so easily victimized by this crime. Imagine their spouses, new to the way of the military, trying to balance the day-to-day challenges of a young family, with the crippling effects of identity theft. Furthermore, I am concerned because I can see how it could be nearly impossible to fight identity theft problems from another part of the world. I can be deployed overseas without notice. Quite honestly, my family and I do not need the additional stress imposed on us by this crime."

How can we expect a serviceman to clear up identity theft while serving in one of the remote places in the world? While running drills aboard a ballistic missile submarine or while patrolling a dark street in Bagdad? The simple answer is, they cannot. And their inability to act may result in financial ruin. How can they concentrate on their jobs, protecting themselves and their fellow servicemen, with this fear on their minds?

"These patriotic men and women have volunteered to serve our country. They have put their lives on the line to protect and defend our freedom. We owe our military members more," urged Sheila Gordon, ITRC's Director of Victim Services and a daughter of a career officer.

The Identity Theft Resource Center has spoken out loudly about this problem since 2000. According to an American Forces New Service report, the military is now moving to partially truncate all but the last four
numbers of the Social Security number from military identification cards. By 2010, the program will be completed, with new ID cards issued as they expire.

"On behalf of the Identity Theft Resource Center, we thank the Department of Defense for this long-needed change. Military members and families make sacrifices to protect us. It is long overdue that we begin to protect them," stated Jay Foley, ITRC Executive Director.

The ITRC is a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft. It is the on-going mission of the ITRC to assist victims, educate consumers, research identity theft and increase public and corporate awareness about this problem.

For more info for our Military see an earlier blog: ICFE Cautions Veterans and Active Duty Service Members

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