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Editor:

A friend brought a letter to us to examine from the Mesa Social Security Office to apply for prescription drug coverage. It asked this party to mail or bring in bank statements, any stocks, bonds, mutual fund balances, and all earned and unearned sources of income.

Thank God this person had that coverage elsewhere and was aware of identity theft scams. The letter also has a scratched out phone number rewritten in pen by the sender. In examining this letter I realized it was even more dangerous if it actually came from Social Security.

Asking for this data to be sent in a letter or asking, as it does, that recipients telephone someone for help in obtaining their own personal financial records, displays a level of ignorance about the current dangers posed to all people regarding identity theft. It borders on criminal negligence.

An identity thief need only rent a P.O. box, create an “official” letterhead, buy a cell phone, and politely answer posing the right questions to empty a victim’s bank account.

If an employee of a bank or business demanded this information in this manner, they would be sacked. Only a gigantic government bureaucracy can be so irresponsible without fear of reprisal.

Is it any wonder that an Armenian gang can bilk comatose Medicare employees of $35 million before anyone notices?

Judith Carroll

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