A week’s worth of news reports shows law enforcement all over the country are battling identity thieves who are stealing our personal information and opening various accounts under our names or taking over existing accounts. From every corner of the U.S. from Ft Lauderdale to Anchorage and San Diego to Queens, busts are happening but more work needs to be done.
Queens NY, CBS New York reports: A South Ozone Park man who portrayed himself as a Harvard graduate with plans to open a medical facility has pleaded guilty to identity theft, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced.
San Diego CA, Imperial Beach Patch reports: Authorities said the defendants ran the ID theft and mail theft ring out of their home. Most of the personal information is believed to have come from stolen real estate files. Investigators found numerous items involved in the ID theft ring at the defendants’ home, including computers, printers, dozens of stolen credit cards and lists describing how to make counterfeit IDs.
Ft Lauderdale FL, Sun Sentential reports: The scheme unraveled after Erskine met with a confidential informant in March to discuss filing for fraudulent income tax refunds. She said Johnson could get a person’s Social Security number, date of birth, and driver’s license information for $150, according to court documents.
Anchorage AK, KTUU.com reports: An Anchorage man is facing 36 federal charges, including aggravated identity theft, in a case involving more than $150,000 in losses to individuals and businesses he allegedly defrauded. Rogers allegedly created fake documents for nearly two years, from late 2007 until mid-2009, which federal authorities say he then used to make fraudulent purchases.
- Protect themselves from account takeover by monitoring their accounts closely, protect their passwords, and refute unauthorized charges.
- Protect themselves from new account fraud by locking down their credit with a credit freeze or identity theft prevention services.
- Protect their devices with antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall.
Identity theft will continue to plague citizens until smart systems are put in place to mitigate new account fraud and account takeover. Businesses are engaging an emerging device identification technology by Oregon-based iovation Inc. that spots cybercriminals by analyzing the reputation of computers and mobile devices used to connect to online businesses. They proactively investigate for suspicious activity and check for characteristics consistent with fraudulent users.
In one major case, iovation helped bust a fraud ring that victimized over 15 people where tens of thousands of fraudulent charges were racked up. The case started when a report of $5,000 in fraudulent credit card charges at a large electronics store and two department stores was reported. It just so happens that the credit issuer was using iovation to flag fraudulent credit card applications and tracking that back to the specific computers and mobile devices used. This information, combined with surveillance photos and other offline detective work, provided the perfect blend of digital and physical data that law enforcement needed to bust the crime ring.
About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Identity Theft Rings Focus On Loans and Credit Cards
Identity theft rings are in every state, victimizing approximately 10 million people a year.
In Wycoff NJ, 11 men and women were arrested on charges of stealing identities to open credit cards in an alleged scheme that is believed to have defrauded more than 70 victims.
Patch reports: “Credit cards were opened in the victims’ names, and
- Florida Retirees Frequent Identity Theft Targets
A lot of Floridians are retirees who spend their days around the pool or at the beach. The warmer weather attacks both golden agers and unfortunately identity thieves. Criminals know that retirees have money in the bank, retirement accounts and credit cards with high limits.
TechNewsDaily reports, “On a per capita basis, 361 Floridians out of
- European Cybercrime Not Slowing Down
Device reputation authority iovation published a report revealing that the number of fraudulent transactions originating from Europe has risen dramatically over the past two years. From April 2011 to April 2012, iovation prevented approximately 15 million fraudulent online transactions in Europe. That’s an increase of 60% over the previous year. The rate of European fraud
- What is New Account Fraud?
As long as identity thieves continue to breach databases and steal Social Security numbers, new account fraud will plague the public.
New account fraud refers to financial identity theft in which the victim’s personal identifying information and good credit standing are used to create new accounts, which are then used to obtain products and services. Stolen
- International Credit Card Hackers Hammered
Retailers can temporarily rejoice (for about a minute) now that six cyber villains have been caught in two different international credit card fraud rings.
The Register reports, “After investigations that began in 2009, the police executed three search warrants in metropolitan Sydney, retrieving EFTPOS terminals, computers, cash, mobile phones, skimming devices, and several Canadian credit cards.
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