update (3 PM): Forty poems from our Honored Guest Poets can be found in the brand new f/k/a’s Mother’s Day Haiku Collection.
It seems that mothers don’t just shape our identity, these days, they steal it, too. My hometown newspaper has a story today about a mother who stole her 2-year-old’s identity in order to set up utility and phone accounts, and then skipped out, ruining the child’s credit rating. (The [Schenectady, NY] Daily Gazette, “Mom accused of toddler ID theft,” May 11, 2007, p. B1, $ub.) At the time of the arrest, the child had already been taken from the mother, Hope C. Maxwell (27 years old), by our county Child Protective Services, for unrelated reasons. It never occurred to me that parental ID theft would be a widespread problem. Apparently, it is. For example, see:
- “Identity Thieves’ Newest Target Children: Targeted Kids Often Learn of Destroyed Credit Years Later,” ABC World News, Feb. 7, 2006, where you will learn of a woman whose mother ran up $150,000 in debt on a credit care taken out in the child’s name, when the girl was 8 years old. The daughter only found out when she tried to buy a car at the age of 20.
- “Child Identity Theft,” Inside Edition, May 10, 2005, where you’ll meet Shiloh Puckett of Rockwall, Texas. Shiloh is ten, but is already listed on credit reports as being $14,000, thanks to her Mother, who served six months in prison on forgery and fraud charges after running up the bad debt on at least 17 credit cards. Note: “Puckett insists she only used her daughter’s credit to pay for necessities.”
- Young Entrepeneurs of America: The same Inside Edition episode focused on Bryce Dalton, whose father got Bryce a business license for a contracting company called “Dalton & Sons”, when he was only three. Of course, daddy ran up unpaid debts related to the business, and to a few credit cards in Bryce’s name.
If you want to be ID-theft savvy, and your mama didn’t teach you, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Website , which has lots of information on how to DETER identity thieves by safeguarding your information; DETECT suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements; and DEFEND against ID theft as soon as you suspect a problem. You might want to take the OnGuard Online ID Theft Quiz (maybe with your kids). Also, shlep has links to materials on identify theft and security fraud information. Meanwhile, kids, be careful who gets to see your Social Security Number.
Mother’s Daythe florist adds kissesto my card
a nurse unties
pity the daughters of beautiful mothers the years spent waiting to
grow into a beauty that never comes the sympathetic looks finally
understood at the moment when childhood ends
side by side we outline
– haibun [prose with poem] by roberta beary, Modern Haiku Vol. 37:1 (Spring 2006) –
that spanking she gave Mama G.
the wrong twin —
all the other days
…………….. by dagosan
Believe me, there is no connection between Mama G. and such financial hanky-panky. But, with Mother’s Day only two days away, I want to send her my love and to remind you that we posted “a few haiku for mother’s day” In May 2005. In addition, later today, I will put up a much larger Mother’s Day Haiku Collection. Check back here for the link.
Mother’s Day visit
bringing home her smile
and her frown
. ………………………….. by dagosan, at MagnaPoets (May 11, 2007)
orig. haiga at MagnaPoets (May 10, 2007)
on mother’s day –
grandma’s favorite park
poem: david giacalone
photo: arthur giacalone