Comments

Simple NomadMay 3, 2006 1:02 PM

I don't know, the baby looks pretty suspicious to me. How do we know the baby isn't just really advanced and smart? Or maybe the baby is just in on it, part of a gang or something. You know, called "cribs".

Sorry, that was a long way to go for a joke...

C-May 3, 2006 1:05 PM

Anyone else find it a little odd the tone of the article? It seems to be a bit too jovial for something as serious as identity theft and all but ignores the inability of the hospital to protect sensitive personal information. “Oh look at the cute baby who just had his identity stolen. Wow, must be the youngest ever! A record!��? Is this how we get desensitized to these types of problems?

aikimarkMay 3, 2006 1:19 PM

This may be the start of a new wave of identity theft victims. Unfortunately, there may be a latency to the evidence of symptoms, much like the latency between the acquisition of HIV and noticable AIDS symptoms we saw in the 1980s.

These children may grow up to find a blemish on their credit scores when they request their very first credit card. Hell of a latency period, eh?!?

NaGahlMay 3, 2006 1:26 PM

This reads more like a billing error than identity theft.

The kid has an account in the hospital records system because he probably received some sort of treatment there (newborn PE, for example ("2, 10, 12, he's all there!")).

It's a lot more fun to report that the kid had his "identity" stolen than it is to report that a careless clerk at the hospital put the charges on the wrong account.

Since this article is a year and half old and there doesn't appear to be any follow up on the story, I think it's safe to attribute this to stupidity rather than malice.

1915bondMay 3, 2006 1:27 PM

The suspicious parts are these:

"He didn't even have a Social Security number, but someone used his first and middle names — though without the "w" in Andrew...."

Andrew sans the "w" is "Andre" - Russian.

The mother's name "Katrina" is Russian.

Inside job, or sneaky Russian hack?

laffz

lostriverMay 3, 2006 2:02 PM

Just to get it straight...
"Andre" is French.
"Andrey" is Russian.

"Katrina" is probably Polish.
"Katya" or "Ekaterina" is Russian.

1915bondMay 3, 2006 2:17 PM

I wondered if I was using the right jig...

And, yes, the story is quite fishy, the details scant, and too speculative to warrant the "identity theft" rhetoric.

DCMay 3, 2006 2:27 PM

When this story was printed, I emailed the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego about it. They thought it was silly since a minor can't get credit, making the child's identity useless to anyone. Perhaps the doctor's office should get out of the business of issuing credit.

Knowler LongcloakMay 3, 2006 2:33 PM

@lostriver

My wife's immigrating ancestor from Russia was named "Katharina", she went by "Katja". She was actually part of the German colonies in Russia, so she was German and not Russian.

Duende GirlMay 3, 2006 3:05 PM

I don't even know why we're talking about this either, The kid is old enough now to tell us if he went to the clinic or not. ha ha. Every time I take my son to the Dr. I haveta clarfy everything for them because there is a person with his exact name with the exception of ONE letter. Yes I have received bills for that person and politely returned them. I HOPE someone steals my identity, then they can pay all my bills, Anyone wanna trade identities? I hate the friggin media and people who think what they say is the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Great Cat of China. People have necks to hold up their heads which is sposed to have a brain in it..Try using it instead of being a lemming.Whoops there went another one off the cliff. splat

kevinMay 3, 2006 3:08 PM

I would like to get your opinion on this authentication sector.. I read an article today regarding Mastercard all-in-one authentication device to minimize fraud. Says they are currently working with a company called Cardinal Commerce. Is cardinal Commerce a leader in authentication? What do you know about them? Are they a company which may be acquired like Cyota was? Thanks.

another_bruceMay 3, 2006 3:27 PM

@lostriver:
hello, pedant. "andre" and "andrey" are pronounced the same. my guess as to the reason for the convention of spelling the russian name with two vowels at the end (most frequently "ei") is that in the russian language itself, the name is spelled with two vowels at the end, the one that looks like "E" and the one that looks like a backwards "N" with a little swoosh over it. da, ya govoryu po-russky, nyemnozhko.
other observations: inside job has already been mentioned, that's always an early avenue of inquiry. deceased infants have long been a source of new identities for others. there's not much to see here but a common scam, somebody will figure out who got that lumbar adjustment and narcotic prescription. you're never too young for this, just like in some parts of america you're never too young to vote.

stacyMay 3, 2006 4:02 PM

So you need someone's name and address to get a clinic to extend you credit and prescribe you drugs... can you say "phone book"? This doesn't seem like a very high hurdle for a fraudster to clear.

Timmy303May 3, 2006 4:50 PM

The first time I heard of stealing infants' identities was the first Highlander movie, so 1984/1985? And if Hollywood caught on then, it had to have been going on for decades prior to then :-)

@another_bruce

Andrei(y/j) and Andre are pronounced subtly differently in Russian, there is a semi-hard "y" on the end of the former. A lot of Westerners don't notice.

AnonymousMay 3, 2006 5:05 PM

@another_bruce

it is spelled with "ey" ("ей") because it is pronounced that way - there are 2 vowels and 2 distinct sounds

the fact that middle name is used might point to a russian connection - every russian (full/official) name consits of a name, patronymic (father's) name and a surname.

RogerMay 4, 2006 12:13 AM

@Timmy303:
> The first time I heard of stealing infants' identities was the first Highlander movie, so 1984/1985? And if Hollywood caught on then, it had to have been going on for decades prior to then :-)

The earliest case I know of is "Rudolf Abel". The Soviet spy Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher (alias Rudolf Abel, alias William Fischer, alias Emil Goldfus) entered the United States via Canada in 1947 under the identity of Emil Goldfus, a US citizen who had been born about the same time as Fisher (who was born in 1903) but had died at the age of 14 months. However I doubt this was the first such example, as the NKVD (actually, MVD at that point) did a very professional job in constructing Goldfus' "legend".

I would speculate that it has been done ever since birth certificates started being generally issued and used as a form of identity document. I don't really know when that would be, although some friends interested in genealogy tell me that some US States only started issuing birth certificates in the first two decades of the twentieth century, while others have done it for much longer. While in the UK, civil registration of births began in 1837 but only became compulsory in 1875; church records go back many centuries but are often rather spotty, and depend on the person's professed denomination.

pinanoMay 4, 2006 7:31 AM

"A spokesperson from Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland said they have not found any evidence the information was leaked from the hospital."

Of course they hadn't. Professional responsibility is even more lacking than personal responsibility.

How about, "The persons responsible for the incident have been sacked."

another_bruceMay 5, 2006 10:49 AM

@anonymous:
you were able to put a cyrillic character in a previously all-english commentspace, giving me character envy. i'm going to learn how to do that (i subliminally recollect an alternative keyboard function in my accessories), so that millions of gorgeous babes in the former soviet union can finally have access to america's most eligible bachelor!

VanessaFebruary 9, 2007 12:19 PM

I am a reporter looking for a parent in Canada (preferably Calgay, Alberta) whose child who has been a victim of identify theft. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Vanessa

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