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LCUB enacts identity theft measures


Lenoir City Utilities Board will enact an identity theft prevention policy before Nov. 1, as required by federal law.

“We have to make sure we can prove, within a reasonable certainty, who someone is. … Just because you bring me a drivers license or Social Security number, that doesn’t mean I can identify who you are,” Shannon Littleton, LCUB attorney, said.

In order to determine the legitimacy of a customer’s identity, LCUB will be partnering with a credit agency, Online Information Services.

“We’ll run the information through and [OIS] will verify for us that these people are who they say they are,” Littleton said.

Farragut resident and former Alderman Joel Garber asked Littleton if a government-issued ID was not sufficient proof of identification. Littleton responded that LCUB will require two types of government-issued identification from customers, one being a picture ID.

“So, only if they don’t have a government-issued picture I-D and another form of identification, will we have to do this?” Garber asked.


Littleton answered in the affirmative. LCUB General Manager Fred Nelson said partnering with Online Information Services will cost LCUB $90 a month and $2.70 per report.

“We won’t do that [check] with every customer … it’s if somebody comes in and they hand us a drivers license and that picture doesn’t look like that person standing there,” Nelson said.

Identity checks through OIS would take only about a minute to process. The identity theft policy applies only to residential customers.

“We’re dealing with personal information from personal customers,” Littleton said.

Supervisors and customer service representatives will all be trained to recognize suspicious activity under the new policy, Littleton said.

A 2003 federal law requires all utilities to have an identity theft prevention program.

“In a nutshell, anyone who provides credit is going to fall under these standards,” Littleton said.

LCUB is included because “we provide a service and then we get paid for providing that service. In essence, we are providing credit,” he added.

“In a nutshell, we’re going to have to protect a customer’s identity, we’re going to have to prove who people are, we’re going to have to train our customer [service] reps, and we’re going to have to approve a policy every year,” Littleton said.

The policy was adopted unanimously.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved a policy to require submission of a building permit upon application for an electrical meter order within unincorporated areas of Loudon County.

• Authorized the water department to seek construction bids for “contract B” downtown water system improvements.

• Awarded a bid to Crom Corporation, as lowest and best bidder, for a 750,000-gallon pine top tank for the amount of $650,000.

• Approved a resolution for Community Development Partners, LLC, for assistance in preparing and administering the 2009 CDBG grant application.

• Approved a resolution for Fulghum, Macindoe and Associates, Inc., for engineering assistance for the 2009 CDBG grant application.

• Authorized management to seek bids for a collections recovery agency.

 

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