Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Carmel on the Case: License to Steal
Could somebody else have a card with your picture or your information? See why this major mistake by the DMV could give criminals easy access to identity theft. Well explain what happened and if it could happen again in the next Carmel On The Case.
WSVN--This is Donald Millward. But according to the Department of motor vehicles, this is Donald Millward.
Donald Millward: "It was a little shocking."
When Millward moved to Hollywood, he renewed his license online. When the license came back, it had the right name and the right address but the wrong picture.
Donald Millward: "Its pretty amazing, especially post 9-11. There is supposed to be a lot of new control in that system, but obviously I don't see it working."
Millward did the right thing. He reported the error to the DMV. What scares him is if it happened to someone else.
Donald Millward: "I think they could steal your identity to some capacity. People do it without a picture and now if they have my license and a picture on it, I would think it would make things even easier to do."
More than half a million people are victims of identity theft every year. In a recent 7-news investigation, we showed how easy it would be for criminals to get personal information from poorly shredded documents we discovered in dumpsters outside DMV offices and a government building. But that's nothing compared to the Millward mishap.
Donald Millward: "I think its possible there are a lot of mistakes being made. Why can I be the only one they made an error on? I don't think so."
The DMV Says it has taken precautions to prevent something like this from happening again. According to its records, six such mistakes have been made in the past ten years.
Millward originally came here to the Deerfield Beach office to get his license back in 2003. The DMV believes his picture was mixed up with the man standing behind him in line. It says - no a big deal.
Modesto Burgos from the DMV: "I don't think this is a case. You have a better chance at winning the lottery then to have one of these things happen to you."
But Victor Johnson with FDLE says such a mix up could spell trouble.
Victor Johnson from the FDLE: "We do get a number of cases where people are making drivers licenses…counterfeit drivers licenses. And its because that's one of the keys to identity theft with somebody else drivers license with your picture on the thing."
And in the wrong hands...
Victor Johnson: "The possibilities are virtually unlimited. You can go open a bank account. And as a matter of fact, we have several cases like that."
Millward's still waiting to get his corrected license. He says next time he needs to update things, he'll get in line instead of online.
If you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE