Thursday, August 03, 2006

Identity Theft When Will They Ever Learn

Identity-Theft-When-Will-They-Ever-Learn audio post - click to play

Here's a pop quiz for you. What does a
model, a policeman, & a Nebraska
loan company
all have in common?

Now for the answer.

They all were caught recently as being
perpetrators of various forms of identity
theft and or credit fraud.

First up is our fashion model, Beverly Peele.
She was sentenced this past Thursday by a Los
Angeles area judge to 3 years probation and
repaying the victims of her identity theft
credit fraud committed. It seems our super
model went shopping with someone else's
credit card numbers, but had the
delivered to her home.

Next up, is a Baltimore, Maryland police
officer of three years, who was arrested
and suspended from the force for attempting
to use a fraudulent American Express card.
The police woman, tried to monetize the
card by purchasing a $1,000 gift
certificate at a local shopping mall.

Instead, this police woman now faces
charges including 5 counts of identity
theft & 2 counts of theft by deception
plus a likely law enforcement career
in ruins.

If anyone, a policeman should know that
crime does not pay.

Our final spotlight on this triology
of "when will they ever learn" identity
theft cases illustrates the continuing
problem we have exposed all throughout
this year.

Lost or "missing" data resulting from
transporting unencrypted data outside
the physical premises of a company
entrusted with sensitive consumer
information highly prized by identity
thieves worldwide:

  • Names
  • Social Security Numbers (ssn)
  • Other personally identifying information

In this latest computer tape gone "missing",
the personal loan data of over 180,000
and former students who held
loans currently serviced by a Nebraska firm
known as Nelnet.

Nelnet was informed by the courier (UPS) the
computer tape was "lost" July 10th while in
transit in Texas.

One would think by now with all of the public
disclosures this year of companies with
careless data handling procedures needlessly
exposing hundreds of thousands of Americans
to identity theft, that you would encrypt
data prior to transportation.

So, our tip for today is twofold. If you
have or had a student loan registered with
the Nelnet/College Access Network during the
time period of Nov., 2002 - May, 2006 contact
the special toll free number for more information.

That phone number for Nelnet is 1-800-552-7925.

Secondly, since last month, residents of the state
of Colorado now have access to a credit freeze law.
With this new law, you now have the right to request
all three of the major credit bureaus to place a
security freeze on your credit report to make it
inaccessible without your authorization.

Retailers who offer "instant credit" approval
have typically been the targets of identity
theft fraud artists which this new Colorado
law will help to deter.

In closing this article, while identity
thieves may never learn crime does not pay,
you are now armed with some added knowledge
to use as part of the continuing opportunity
to prevent identity theft from claiming you
as their next victim.

Be a good friend, share this story.


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Haha thanks agent for posting something like this. You have just proven to us that this country does NOT know how to protect our data (nor how to be smart with it once they have it). The supermodel story is hilarious but it goes to show that anyone walking around the supermarket could be crazy enough to take down your credit card information.

After your previous post on the drug raid and cops, i had some sympathy for them, however after reading about this cop my feelings are pretty much back to neutral.

The third instance is just simple stupidity on the part of Nelnet, when will these companies learn about encryption and safe security practices.


At 7:12 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Nathan, unfortunately with identity theft - we're all victims: whether it has already impacted someone you know or will very soon ..... giving the increasing rate of the w-e-e-k-l-y
data exposures.

Who's really looking out for the interests of the common, everyday American?


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