A Taichung woman appeared in court on Friday last week after allegedly booking a ticket with a “randomly” entered ID card number, unaware that the number was from a legitimate ID card owned by someone else.
The woman, surnamed Lu (呂), while attempting to purchase a train ticket to return to her home in Taichung, said she was worried about her personal information being stolen online and so she entered the ID number A123456789 instead of her own.
The transaction was successful, but she canceled the ticket purchase out of fear that the transaction would get her in trouble, she said.
Railway authorities, upon learning of the transaction, deemed it to be a violation of forgery laws and pressed charges against Lu, but the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office concluded that her actions did not constitute intent to commit a crime and decided not to indict her.
The owner of the ID number that Lu used, a man surnamed Hsieh (謝), was summoned to attend the court session where he expressed his frustration over the frequent, illegitimate use of his ID number by others.
Hsieh said that this misuse has resulted in him being investigated on many occasions by officials from the Bureau of National Health Insurance and other government divisions, as well as drawing the attention of the media.
Hsieh said that he had no desire to sue Lu, adding: “Could everyone please be careful not to cause me trouble like this again? Every time I am required to appear in court, I have to spend two to three hours traveling — it is quite tiring.”
Hsieh said he receives up to three or four summonses per month for various cases of fraud involving his ID number, and has even seen the number being used as a sample in a government promotional film for the new-format health insurance IC cards.
He said he has even come to be referred to jokingly as “straight brother,” in reference to the poker hand, adding that the convenience of an easily remembered ID number is not worth such hassle.
Lu said she had no intention of causing anyone grief, adding that she did not expect the transaction would succeed or that such a number actually belonged to anyone.
“I was just randomly entering numbers,” she said. “I did not mean to use another person’s ID number.”
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