Identity theft lurks around every one of life's turns

Two reports today via the DataLossDB newsletter demonstrate again that there is a seemingly limitless variety of ways in which your personal information can fall into the wrong hands.

Say you lose your job, for example. Already a kick in the backside, it's made even more egregious if you live in New Jersey and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development "misdirects" your social security number in an envelope-stuffing snafu.

"It's important to remember the information was not stolen, simply misdirected," reads a letter received by some 28,000 Garden Staters, according to The Star-Ledger. "Nevertheless, you should be aware of the situation and alert for irregularities that may suggest your personal information may have fallen into the wrong hands."

Hey, you're unemployed, you've got the time.

Or say you didn't lose you job. In fact, you're doing well enough that you're among the handful of Americans still confident enough in the economy to purchase a new automobile. Congratulations, but you had better hope against hope that the dealership you dealt with does not go rubber-side up.

From the Web site "Police have chained up 10 recycling bins outside Boulder's now-defunct Anderson Kia car dealership after learning that the bins were stuffed with personal information from the dealership's former customers. ... All of the folders contained Social Security numbers, driver's license information, photos, phone numbers and financial information."

A man participating in an auction spotted the material -- not clear why -- and notified police. Whether he was the first to notice the document dump -- or whether any car buyer's personal information was "misdirected" -- is anybody's guess.

It's a jungle out there.

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