INDIANAPOLIS - The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) facial recognition technology was used by the U.S. Postal Service to obtain Federal indictments for two Illinois residents on conspiracy, access device fraud, Social Security fraud and lying to a federal agent. Tracy Brown used names and Social Security numbers of Illinois residents to obtain 18 Indiana credentials. Janice Robertson-Zamar, using similar methods, obtained 19 Indiana credentials.
The U.S. Postal Service investigators met with Brown and Robertson-Zamar to discuss fraudulent checks that were cashed. Each admitted to having five phony identities; however the U.S. Postal Service, working with the BMV Fraud and Security Enforcement Division used the facial recognition technology to uncover more identities that resulted in the indictment of lying to a federal agent.
Brown and Robertson-Zamar were indicted on October 22 in Hammond Federal Court.
BMV Commissioner Andy Miller said, "We always work closely with other investigative agencies to combat identity theft, which is the fastest growing crime in the nation. Our facial recognition technology is just one of the many tools that we have implemented in the past few years to secure the integrity of the Indiana driver's license and ID card. In this instance, the facial recognition technology was able to reveal the scope of fraud by these perpetrators.
"Our SecureID program will help add other ways to protect Indiana credentials and ultimately reduce identity theft for Hoosiers."
In July, Miller announced the BMV SecureID program which will strengthen the security of Indiana credentials. Effective January 1, 2010, all Hoosiers will need to complete three simple steps when applying for a new SecureID driver's license or ID card: 1. Assemble appropriate documents proving their identity, 2. Present those documents at a local license branch, and 3. Receive their driver's license or ID in the mail after security checks are complete. Customers that are renewing or amending their license will have the option to obtain a non-federally compliant credential, which would restrict his or her access in airports or entering federal buildings. He emphasized that drivers needing to renew their licenses in later years will follow these procedures on their normal renewal dates to obtain a compliant license.
Over the past few years, the BMV has taken several steps to improve security:
- New STARS computer system provided a single BMV database and computing capacity for multiple security process improvements.
- A new digital driver's license and ID card incorporated new printing technology and imbedded security features to make counterfeiting more difficult.
- The Social Security Online Verification process allowed the BMV to instantaneously compare a customer's personal data against the Social Security Administration database. During this process over 19,000 drivers' licenses were invalidated because name, Social Security number or date of birth could not be verified.
- Facial recognition technology now permits a comparison of a customer's photo against the BMV database of photos for duplication on other credentials.
« Back to News Release List
Link to this event: