Larry Benson and Andy Bucholz
Archway Publishing (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (8/17)
Modern technology allows people to access information anonymously, unlike the old days where we had to go in, in person and present official identification to sign up for government programs. This gives individuals more opportunities to commit fraud against the government and commit identity theft on an enormous scale. Hackers from other countries are also taking advantage of our current system. This is terrifying to me. In “WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government” by Larry Benson and Andy Bucholz, the authors use their knowledge and experience from working with LexisNexis to explain how identity theft and fraud has become a huge epidemic in our country.
As a person who shreds every document before it exits my home, “WTF? Where’s the Fraud?” helped me realize that this is still not enough. I am more likely to have someone access my personal information through leaks in our system, than I am through my garbage. I will still keep shredding, however, I am now going to be a lot more careful about how I enter my information into the system. In spite of this, individuals can still steal my information. Within the past month, at my work, a co-worker accidentally discovered that she could access the social security number of all employees. When reported, we found out that this issue was not going to be taken seriously. Having read this book, I am thinking of getting copies to leave on administrator’s desks, with their social security numbers.
The author’s discussion on how much fraud is costing our nation is astounding. They mention ways that much of this could be prevented. I am afraid that this won’t be taken seriously until individuals who can direct change, are actually affected. Living in a border town, I see a lot of fraud against our community because people send their children across the border every day to get an American education. They just need a local address and their child is set. In California, it was discovered that individuals were using their benefit cards at ATMs in casinos. The inappropriate use of benefits and the cost to individuals who have their identities stolen should be enough to encourage change, but so far it does not appear to be happening.
Everybody needs to read this book. We are all at risk of identity theft, even our children and the elderly. I intensely dislike knowing that my hard earned tax dollars are freely being given away to individuals who commit fraud. “WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government” by Larry Benson and Andy Bucholz should be required reading for individuals starting in high school. This book represents the stuff that nightmares are made of. I truly hope that there is a series to be developed from these authors because I suspect the information presented here is just the tip of the iceberg.