This next story is an example of one of the most common and simplest ways that thieves steal your identity. Recently a consumer became concerned when she did not receive her monthly statements from her credit card companies. She called them and discovered that an unauthorized person had changed the address on all of her accounts. It had been only two months since her last bill, yet thousands of dollars in charges had been racked up.address change florida dmv
It is actually quite simple to request an address change, especially if the thief has found or stolen your wallet or gained access to other personal information. Once the address is changed on an account, it could be months or longer before you even realize it. In that time, the thief could be making unauthorized purchases and you would never know. In cases where a credit card is paid off, the damage could be even worse. Since you don’t owe the credit card company money, you may be less likely to miss a statement or bill if it doesn’t arrive. That gives the thieves more time to make more unauthorized charges.
The best way to be sure that the address has not been changed on an account is to monitor it. Make sure you receive statements each month and if you don’t, call right away. Also, monitor your credit report regularly. If possible, sign up for a credit monitoring product but if you can’t or don’t want to do that, at least check it once a year from each of the credit reporting companies: Equifax ®, Experian® and TransUnion®.
- Change Your Name After Sex Change
In August, an Oklahoma judge rejected a person’s request to change his name from a masculine one to a feminine one. The petitioner wants to do so because he plans to have surgery to become a woman. The petitioner wanted to change his first name from James to Angela. The judge refused to do so because he concluded that the petitioner sought the new name for fraudulent purposes. The law governing name changes in the U.S. is quite lenient. It allows virtually any name change that is not for fraudulent purposes or highly confusing. For instance, a court in Nebraska permitted a man to change his name to “Tyrannosaurus Rex,” which the petitioner claimed he wanted in order to achieve more recognition for his business.
Typically, changing one’s name for fraudulent purposes would involve trying to escape debt or obtain property under a false identity. Thus, the judge’s decision that the change here would be fraudulent does not comport with the typical concept of fraud. Further, it seems clear that the change is sought to accommodate the petitioner’s new identity as a woman, especially absent any evidence that he is trying to avoid financial obligations. The decision also contradicts precedent — five other Oklahoma judges claim they routinely grant name changes for transgender petitioners. The petitioner in this case is very distraught over the decision. The judge grounded his decision in one scientist’s report and in the bible. He reasoned that gender reassignment surgery does not actually change someone’s gender because the person still has the same DNA, thus he is only an imitation of the opposite sex. The court cited a passage from Genesis that God made man and woman, and that the inalterability of someone’s DNA shows that God wants people to remain the same gender for their entire lives. He further supported his decision by stating he did not want to support legitimizing sex change. Here, the judge seems to have based his decision in politics rather than law because he is citing his disagreement with the practice of changing sex itself rather than citing law that distinctly states that someone may not change his name to coincide with a sex change.
In a similar decision one year earlier, the same judge stated that changing a name to coincide with a gender change was fraudulent because it could fool someone into believing the person is a woman, when the person is actually a man according to his DNA. He continued that such a change could also be fraud if police were investigating a wanted man, and the subject changed his name to a woman’s name. The petitioner in the latest case has been living as a woman for months. Her friends and partner address her as “Angela,” she dresses as a woman, and has been undergoing hormone therapy, although she has not been able to afford sexual reassignment surgery. The judge’s decision seems futile. It doesn’t actually help his cause of delegitimizing sex changes – he would need to influence lawmakers to help do so – the decision merely impairs one person’s desire to be who she believes she truly is.