As you look at the picture headlining this entry you probably recognize that product. It’s a super cute ID wallet with a key ring. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, styles, some have gemstones, some have really cute color patterns, and they’re really easy to spot. In my line of work I most often see these hanging with a pile of keys and miscellaneous items connected to a lanyard. I would say that at least 98% of the time it’s younger females that use these the most. By younger I’m talking the 16-23 age range.
These ID wallets make perfect sense to use from a convenience standpoint. You have your ID ready to go at a moment’s notice rather than rifling through a giant handbag while you hold everyone up in the checkout line. Your credit cards are easy to grab, cash is right there, and you never have to wonder where your wallet is. It truly is a convenient item.
I’m going to assume that you’re thinking that I’m going to talk about how easy these are to steal, and then they have your keys along with your wallet and it’s a bad idea to even have them. Negative. I’m not going to take that path. There’s honestly only one thing I’m concerned about when I see these, and I bring it to the attention of the owner every single time. I hear the same response every time as well. “I never even thought of that.” I’d imagine not considering how alarmed you are at this moment. This is the spot where the news would say, “Hear more tonight at 10.” Luckily, I’ll tell you right away.
Think of a group of teenage girls hanging out at a coffee shop. They’re locked in conversation, laughing, looking at each other’s phones, huddled together like they’re putting a plan in motion to take over the world. All while their keys lay next to them on the table. It’s a safe area so they don’t have to worry about someone running off with their keys. They don’t have a care in the world because they’re just having a good time. They already forgot about the awkward moment with the dude at the checkout counter that seemed a little too interested even though he was 45 and they’re 17. They definitely aren’t concerned about him now since he’s sitting on the other side of the coffee shop. Good news, he’s leaving. He takes care of throwing away his trash and as he walks by the group of girls he snaps a quick picture of the ID wallet lying face up on the table.
The girls don’t notice this quick, minuscule action. But this 45 year old guy now has the name, home address, and driver’s license number of a 17 year old girl. Stalking is a very real thing. It’s also something that is very hard for law enforcement to control and prevent. The police can’t do anything until the stalker actually does something. That gives creepy dude all the freedom to stand across the street from this girl’s house and watch everything she does. He can follow her to work, or practice, or to a friend’s house. Sure, her dad can come out and yell, scream, and threaten, but if he touches creepy dude the dad is the one in trouble. I’m not saying that’s right, but it’s what the law says.
What are the odds of this happening? Not huge. Car accidents aren’t actually too likely to happen, either. But you sure strapped that little girl in to her car seat to keep her safe every single time she rode in the car with you, didn’t you? It’s not about the odds. It’s about keeping people safe. We have a lot of mentally unstable people out there. A misunderstood interaction is all it takes to trigger some individuals. I would rather not help those people by making the object of their affection easy to find.
People being tracked down isn’t the only risk involved, either. My buddy, Mike, and I always get asked if we’re brothers. Most of the time we lie and say that we are. Having someone’s driver’s license number can be used as a form of identity theft. They can’t open credit cards or get a mortgage with it, but they can mess with your driving record if they look similar to you and have your license or a really good fake with your DL number on it. If you want to read more scary details about this please visit https://www.idtheftcenter.org/Identity-Theft/can-someone-steal-your-identity-from-your-driver-s-license.html and it will go in to all the fun ways a DL number can be used.
When addressing this with my customers, especially the female ones, I don’t try to overly scare them. I just tell them that it is very easy for someone to quickly snap a picture and now a stranger knows where you live. I’ve actually never suggested they get rid of the ID wallet key ring. I just tell them to put something in front of their ID or turn it over. Every girl has thanked me for bringing it to their attention, and every parent that has been here with their daughter has thanked me as well because they didn’t think of it either. As the title says, beware of creepers.