Does Identity Theft Increase If You Sign Petitions?

I was recently in San Diego for a conference when I heard a commercial on the radio discouraging people for signing petitions to try and place measures on upcoming ballots because doing so would leave signers open to identity theft. The commercial used the following scare tactics (you can listen to the entire commercial here)

“California doesn’t license or bond signature gatherers. Many of them are from out of state and move from city to city to carry petitions. Anyone can do it, even convicted felons and forgers…The legislature even called it an identity theft starter kit.”

Collecting a specific number of petition signatures is an important part of getting new measur


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4 Responses to Does Identity Theft Increase If You Sign Petitions?

  1. Monkey Mama says:

    I heard this and thought the same thing. As a victim of identity theft, I thought, “What the heck???” I was going to look into this more and then forgot (was wondering who the heck was paying for these commercials, and why!)

    The information you need to protect in case of ID theft is your birth date and your social security number. Use both sparingly.

  2. Michelle says:

    You just need to be careful and make sure that the person who is asking you to sign the petition is legit.

  3. patientsaver says:

    I agree. You can get the same info (name plus address) from any phone book or online). To commit ID theft, you’d really need a date of birth and/or Social Security number, not things people usually put on a petition. Although a lot of people would still have this printed on personal checks. Bad idea!

  4. tom says:

    “State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Bob Balgenorth said he was part of a group of people who came up with the idea for Californians Against Identity Theft”


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