On This Identity Theft Thingie

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Read an article on MSNBC tonight; some woman had found her credit card information at a hacker's site, MSNBC did the story, and people all over the country have been doing Web searches on their names and credit card numbers.

(The latter makes me suspect that they're candidates for the Darwin awards, but hey.)

(In case you missed the drift: don't ever transmit your credit card number over an insecure connection.)

At any rate. I was curious, so I began doing various searches on my name. This raises an interesting new twist on the identity theft thing: suppose I were to pretend to be ANOTHER STEPHEN POOLE?

For example, maybe I'm this guy:

Yeah, that's me! I have a doctorate in Biology and have written several journal articles. :)

Or, maybe I'm this artist. Watcha think? Didn't I draw some pretty butterflies? :)

No! I'm the famous game reviewer at Gamespot.com! Yeah, that's me ...

Sigh. Not a single rich person in the list. A few artists, some government officials, one guy who works with a halfway house, and a scattering of others (including a Stephen Poole who DIED in SC a few years ago).

Not even a wrestler. I could handle being a pro wrassler. :)

-- Stephen (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), March 19, 2002


I couldn't buy the artist thing, just doesn't seem you. But the halfway house guy that has real potential. Did you say that you live there or work there?

-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), March 19, 2002.

If he worked there he'd be one up on you JBT, at least he'd have a job. Ha, got you ;-)

piking at a zit,


-- dorksy (dweebil@dumbdey.doo), March 19, 2002.

Nah Stephen, they're all much better looking, you're safe.

PS, love your new commercials for Liberty Medical.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), March 19, 2002.

If that was your article on Gamespot, great read. If not, hey, still a great read.

I was surprised though, that as a big time gamer he wasn't up to snuff on warez.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), March 20, 2002.

Fortunately, nobody has ever stolen my identity.

-- Stephen (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), March 20, 2002.

Stephen, in your opinion, is it safe to use a credit card on the Net when dealing with established retailers like Amazon? Is this any more dangerous than using a credit card on the telephone?

I think that new ID technologies are in the works that will make identity theft very difficult.

-- (lars@indy.net), March 20, 2002.


The banks and retailers are the ones who've pushed for instant credit transactions. Could you imagine the Home Shopping Network without credit cards?

The ones that worry me are the sites that want to STORE your info online. Those that let me enter the number on the fly under secure encryption don't bother me quite as badly.

When I registered WackoWatch.com, Verisign kept my credit card number as part of my personal profile. I waited a day, then changed it to a random number. I also changed my home address. Too bad. :)

-- Stephen (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), March 20, 2002.

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