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Early Warning – Is Your Identity Safe

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Please note that this pertains to South African FICA, FAIS and Best Practice requirements.

I know that I have written about this before – but hell, it needs to be talked about again.

Just last week something was delivered by a bank to one of my clients, by means of a courier, the delivery guy demanded a copy of client’s ID document. I instructed my client not to hand over a copy of their ID! Whatever next? I was told by the bank official that the delivery guy had to make sure that he had delivered to the correct person. My response – well he can look at the person, then look at the ID as well as the ID number that you have given him and if the picture looks like the person he is handing the package to and if the ID # is the same – then guess what – it’s the right person. If he is not satisfied that it is the right person, then he doesn’t have to leave the package here. Quite simple really. The end solution – the courier company delivered to the bank guy (taking a copy of his ID I’m sure) and the bank guy delivered to my client, without getting another copy of the ID!

Here are some of the issues that have been reported in terms of identity documents:

How about these guys – as reported by Lyse Comins and Arthi – “Fraud syndicates are using identity theft to exploit the huge number of life and funeral policies being taken out because of the HIV and Aids pandemic. They steal an identity, take out a policy and then declare the person dead and claim the money.”

How absolutely disgusting and reprehensible is that?

To make matters worse, according to Pat Cunningham, SA Fraud Prevention Services Head, “Syndicates frequently used informants at state mortuaries and funeral parlors to alert them to unidentified and unclaimed bodies. They will also disfigure and sell an unidentified body between syndicates (to commit multiple fraud).”

Now that is even more disgusting! I doubt that anyone reading this will disagree with anything that I have said here.

Yet we happily give copies of our ID’s to all and sundry, to anyone who asks. We hand copies of our ID’s to people who deliver stuff to us because we are ‘told’ to, because this is the ‘procedure’ or the ‘policy’ of the company!

Well here’s a thought – I have my own set of ‘policies and procedures’ – I don’t give copies of my ID to just anybody.

Quite frankly, I am the client and not a sheep and actually the FICA and FAIS Acts are there to protect me too.

Yes people have a right to insist that I verify who I am and I can do that by showing them my ID – they can look at the ID and look at me and make a decision as to whether the person in the photograph is me. Hell, that’s what they do when we leave or enter a country – they don’t take copies of our passports! What they don’t have, and this is actually in terms of the FICA Act, is the right to insist that I give them a copy of my ID.

As individuals, we all have to take some responsibility for keeping our identity safe.

So think, think carefully before you just hand over copies of your ID.

 

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