Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lenscrafters Identity Theft Will See Jail Time

Lenscrafters-Identity-Theft-Will-See-Jail-Time-audio post - click to play

In a rare instance of an identity thief actually
getting caught, a Minnesota man will be spending
the next four years in prison for his role in
defrauding 40 innnocent victims. For his part
in the Lenscrafters identity theft, he was
responsible for the fraudulent credit charges of
more than $50,000.

We expose how this identity thief operated so
that you will be aware to guard your own credit
identity safety.

It seems, the Lenscrafters identity thief had
access his mall based office's medical records
and credit card information of patients.

According to the prosecutors on the case, this
identity thief would print extra receipts
containing the patient's credit card
during purchase transactions. This
identity thief then would sell the stolen
to credit fraudsters who
would specialize in conducting illegal purchases
- mostly within days involving a local celluar
phone service.

This type of identity thief, known as a
"data collector", is exactly why the California
senator instrumental in the 2002 landmark
security breach disclosure law has been hard
at work this year with a new bill to stop the
printing of consumer's full credit card
on retail receipts.

So, our tip for today is twofold:

Make sure you adopt a credit monitoring service
to alert you to the often times "hidden" misdeeds
from identity theft.

Secondly, before you conduct credit card purchases
at retail locations which may also have your personal
information on file, as in the case of Lenscrafters,
find out if their point of sale terminals truncate
the credit card number. Truncation means the
printer only displays the last four digits of the
card number.

If the retailer's point of sale terminal does not
truncate the full credit card number from their
printed receipts, then either pay cash -or- use
a credit card with a low available balance
to limit
your potential losses from fraud.

Do not, however, write a check as that's an even
worse way to expose yourself needlessly to id
theft fraud.


At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is scary.

I went into my local mall this Saturday to get my prescription eye glass lenses updated and actually noticed just how easy this crime could be replicated.

The clerk had at her desk both a computer to quickly retrieve my medical insurance (including my ssn) and other personal data as well as the ability to print off the receipt of the credit card payment.

Fortunately, a friend had forwarded this podcast and article to me in time for me to be prepared before my eye glass appointment.

I watched the clerk like a hawk to make sure she did not "accidently" print off a second credit card receipt. Additionally, I informed her that I monitor my credit information and would report any suspicious activity to the police (should it come from eye glass purchase).

Thank you so very much Agent 99 for this and your other timely tips.


My eyes have really seen the truth now.


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