The other me 

Adventures in identity theft -- care of my devious doppelgänger

Page 5 of 5

I had to wonder if my case even existed, much less was open.

As they talked, I considered hiring them right there and then. All I wanted was a phone number. Better yet, an address. I just want to be there when he's led off in handcuffs. I'd like to testify at his trial. I have fantasies of him leaving the courtroom in cuffs, after being sentenced to two or four or six years. My life was inconvenienced, so naturally I'd like his ruined.

But then I look at the rap sheet on my desk, the endless list of charges, the pathetic mug shots, and I realize, Brian Katacinski already is ruined.

steve.fennessy@creativeloafing.com

Fight back: Some ways to prevent identity theft, and where to go if it happens anyway

Bad things happen to us all, and identity theft is happening to us more and more. Last year, 2,592 cases of identity theft were reported in Georgia. Many of those probably could've been prevented. Here are some tips:

  • Have personal checks delivered to your bank, and pick them up there. Identity thieves love to troll mailboxes.

  • Stop all those credit card offers from piling up in your mailbox. Call 1-888-567-8688.

  • Is your social security number on your checks or your driver's license? Remove it. You might as well be handing a bag of money to your local identity thief.

  • Check your credit report at least once a year. In Georgia, you can check twice a year before you're charged. Try www.experian.com, www.equifax.com or www.transunion.com.

    Of course, none of this may be sufficient -- in which case there are plenty of resources for identity theft victims. Perhaps the best website is Georgia's "Stop Identity Theft" network, at www.stopidentitytheft.org, a one-stop public/private resource with links to frequently asked questions, a list of steps to take, what the new law in Georgia says, and an online form to report your crime.

    Finally, talking to other identity theft victims can be extremely helpful. They can offer pointers on where to go, what to do and how best to plan your revenge. Unfortunately, we couldn't locate any local support groups for victims of identity theft. If you're interested in helping form one, or joining one, give Steve Fennessy a call at 404-614-1272, or e-mail him at steve.fennessy@creativeloafing.com.

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