My first encounter with Identity Theft personally was when I was l0 years old. My dad opened a bank account for me so he cold drop some money in it over time and build and grow funds for my college education. Of course I worked summers and odd times. At least half of what I made went into that account. Dad got the bank statement in his name. One day he came into my room ready to rip me a new one. I was not supposed to touch the money in that account and the money was going somewhere. I finally convinced Dad I had not been using the money. He took me down to the bank to find out where the money had gone. A person in a not so far town in a different state had a name very similar to my name, only a few months older, and her account was the same as mine. But, the last two numbers were reversed. Back then data entry was done by stenographers. We thought that when the steno entered the data she reversed the last two numbers. The other persons debits came out of my account.
Until recently, there wasn’t a word for that other than stenographers error. I do not think we even changed the bank account numbers. I got my money back and the bank said they would watch it. No harm. No foul. I would learn how much trouble this was to be for me.
Ten years later dad had given up his ghost and I was a student at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I was required in my undergraduate studies to take a sociology course. I could take a lecture or a lab. I chose to take the lab because it consisted of a few night classes, one long weekend and a final test. It seemed like a pud course. I went to the classes and sat in front by the door. I sat there so I could get out fast.
We were given a syllabus for the class on the first day. The leaders of the class set up a mock society that we would live in for the 4 day weekend. The first few weeks they gave us personality tests so they could decide who would be the governor or lawyers or doctors or teachers or moms or engineers or street sweepers or homeless in the mock society. The leaders of the class assigned each of us a j o b for the exercise by the scores we got on the tests. Each j o b was assigned a number of points that acted like dollars corresponding to the monetary value the j o b added to the mock society. Then at set intervals during the exercise we would cycle a new pay period and each resident of the mock society received their appointed number of points to live on until we cycled into a new pay period again. At the end of each cycle each resident was required to have two points to give back to the leaders or they would not go on to the next cycle.
I was chosen to be governor of the mock society exercise I participated in. As governor I was given 8 credits at the beginning of each new pay cycle. The lawyers and doctors were given 7. Engineers 6. Teachers 5. Mom’s 4 and on down until the homeless were given negative one point. They had to be carried by the other members of the society. It was possible to create points through the jobs we held. Groceries had to be bought. Utilities had to be paid. Doctors visits had to be attended. Moms had to care for their young. Some who had enough points could take vacations.
Let the experiment begin.
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