“Daniel” makes it easy for identity thieves

With Congress focusing a lot of attention on identity theft, sometimes it’s important to note that individuals have some responsibility for protecting their personal information.  That hit home this morning as I rode to work on the S2 bus on 16th Street.  Right behind me, a young professional man was on his cell phone, and he was making a credit card purchase.

During his one-sided conversation, I learned his Visa credit card number — he repeated it very slowly so listeners could be sure to get it — the expiration date of his card, his name and the correct spelling, his phone number, his new address — that was repeated too — his zip code, his email address, and his place of employment (the World Bank).  I also learned that he was charging an item for $280.17. No, I didn’t get his mother’s maiden name.

Daniel — that was his first name (I won’t give any other details) — seemed oblivious of the fact that he was on a crowded bus.

I know I’m honest, but can’t attest to the honesty of a large group of strangers on the bus.  Betcha, ‘though, Daniel will be really indignant when he gets unauthorized charges on his Visa account.  He’ll probably even push for more laws to protect him.