At NCBFAA: Identitify theft a growing problem

At NCBFAA: Identitify theft a growing problem

ORLANDO, Fla. - Identity theft is becoming an increasing serious problem for exporters, a Customs official said.

Elizabeth Durant, executive director of trade compliance and facilitation for Customs' field office operations, told a meeting of the 30th National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America annual conference that the theft of importers' identity numbers has caught the agency's attention.

Durant said identity thieves are stealing numbers from legitimate importing businesses, or using fictitious numbers, and urged importers to use caution.

She did not offer further details, and refused to answer follow-up questions. But a number could give terrorists or smugglers a potential friendly contact through which to move contraband into the United States.

-- R.G. Edmonson