The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) announced today an aggressive plan to address the activity of identity thieves who used ServiceArizona.com to complete fraudulent transactions involving duplicate driver licenses. The plan enhances the security of the ServiceArizona website, includes services for victims and for anyone who believes their information may have been compromised, and adds aggressive enforcement measures to hold identity thieves accountable.
Enhanced Security Protocol Implemented
Upon discovering that identity thieves were exploiting a service that allowed duplicate driver licenses to be ordered online and then mailed to an address different than a driver’s address on file, the option was removed to prevent any further criminal activity.
In addition, effective immediately, Arizonans will now be required to provide their full driver license number for all transactions. This will provide an added layer of identity authentication. For customers who do not have their license number, they will be required to visit an MVD office or complete an enhanced security verification process with the MVD call center.
Aggressive Enforcement Measures
ADOT is committed to holding identity thieves accountable. To date, ADOT has led or participated in four large-scale investigations involving this particular type of fraud. Those four cases have so far resulted in 10 arrests for criminal activity that affected 164 known victims.
ADOT will enhance these efforts through a newly-created Online Fraud Task Force, drawing expertise from cyber and law enforcement professionals. The task force will put forward further recommendations to continue aggressively investigating and holding accountable anyone who engages in fraudulent activity.
Credit Monitoring Services for Victims of Identity Theft
ADOT is asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim of identity theft or fraudulent activity associated with the ServiceArizona site to immediately report suspected identity theft to local police or by making a report to the ADOT fraud hotline at 602.277.5684 or firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) and inform ADOT of any filed police reports.
ADOT will also offer and issue new driver license numbers to all potential and actual victims of fraud committed through ServiceArizona.com.
These individuals may also seek assistance by taking one or more of the following actions:
- Place a free credit report fraud alert. A “fraud alert” warns credit reporting agencies that there may be fraud involved in new requests for credit. Only one of the three main credit reporting agencies must be contacted to institute an alert.
- Place a credit report security freeze. Under Arizona law, a “security freeze” prevents credit reporting agencies from releasing credit information without the consumer’s express permission. To place a security freeze, write to each of the three main credit reporting agencies by certified mail. Arizona law allows a charge of up to $5 for each request. (See www.azag.gov/consumer/security-freeze(link is external) for details of the security freeze law.)
- Request a credit report from the three main credit reporting agencies. Consumers are entitled to receive one free credit report each year from each of the three credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Learn more at www.annualcreditreport.com(link is external), call 1-877-322-8228, or contact the credit reporting agencies:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com/personal/(link is external) P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742), http://www.experian.com(link is external) [P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289, http://www.transunion.com/annual-credit-report(link is external), Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Director John Halikowski said: “The State takes this issue very seriously, and we will have zero tolerance for those who seek to steal the identity of Arizona citizens. These measures will not only provide an added layer of security, but will also allow us to better partner with law enforcement to go after bad actors. We will also be working to ensure the launch of our new site later this year, which will include additional layers of verification to prevent fraud.”