One of the stories I talked about yesterday, as I filled in on the Clark Howard Show (1-4pmEST, listen live at www.wsbradio.com”) was the increasing awareness law enforcement officials have of the connection between meth users and identity theft.
A New York Times story on the subject (www.nytimes.com/2006/07/11/us/11meth.html) talked about how the problem is erupting in Denver and other places.
But regular listeners of the Ilyce Glink Show on Sundays know that we started talking about this months ago, after a report surfaced about how Arizona meth addicts were mining data online, through the Arizona divorce court filings, for check information, names, signatures, credit card account numbers, and other personal finance information.
It turns out that Meth addicts have nothing but time when they’re high: 48 hours straight in many cases. But unlike other drug addicts, they’re able to focus on small numbers — like credit card numbers, bank account information — and process that to steal money. They roam the streets at night looking for mail in mailboxes, garbage that hasn’t been collected, and other places to find information.
The numbers are astonishing. In 2005, San Diego had 1,500 cases of identity theft. Of those, 1,125 involved Meth.
The Justice department is supposedly following up with an investigation, looking into the relationship between these two seemingly disparate crimes. I’ll follow up with more information as I have it.
July 12, 2006