Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Identity Theft Criminals Buys $400,000 Home with No Money Down

It started simply with a lost wallet found by an identity thief,
who used the a D.C. area man's identification to purchase
a $419,000 town house with no money down - and then
moved in.

The identity thief even paid the monthly mortgage payments
and moved into the house, according to the Washington Post.

"I'm guilty of all of this"

Yesterday, Cabrera-Rivera, 40, pleaded guilty
in Arlington County Circuit Court to identity fraud,
credit card theft, conspiracy and obtaining a loan
under false pretenses. She was taken into custody
from the courtroom after weeping through much
of the brief hearing. She is scheduled to be
sentenced Nov. 9, when she faces a minimum
two-year prison sentence on the fraud charge
and up to 20 years on the theft charge.
This identity theft case is highly unusual as the criminal
just didn't steal cash or consumer electronics, but
a house and made the monthly payments.

It seems the American dream of home ownership even holds
a strong appeal to identity theft criminals who will utilize
"creative financing" using someone else's good credit.

So, our tip for today is to guard well your financial and credit
identities. At least twice per year, it is a good practice to get
your name check for any unauthorized mortgage or other
public record changes to your profile.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Man Gets 2,000 Active Gas Charge Cards and Exxon Refuses Their Return

This just in from the bizarre file: a New York man was shipped
2,000 active Exxon Mobil gas charge cards which the company
refused to accept their return when confronted with their
mistake as reported by Network World.

"How could you send me 2,000 cards by mistake?"
Van Buren said he asked customer-service

"They refused to take them back.”

"We don't know what happened," Exxon Mobil
spokeswoman Paula Chen...

Exxon Mobil, consistent with their refusal to accept
the New York man's honest attempt to return the
2,000 gas charge cards, the company suggested the
source of the problem was their credit card issuer,

So, our tip for today is if you or someone you know
who may be an Exxon Mobil gas card account holder.

Please contact the issuer, Citibank, to verify your
account has not been compromised.

Finally, make sure to tell a friend or associate about
this latest potential for identity theft.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Identity Theft Firm LifeLock Prevents Cops from Prosecuting Thief

An identity thief who opened a loan suing the stolen
name and social security number (ssn) of the
Lifelock's co-founder can NOT be prosecuted
according to police.

It seems the company coerced a taped confession
from the identity theft suspect before the police
could finish their investigation according to the
Ft. Worth Star Telegram:

"It makes it not prosecutable," Moore said. "The confession
isn't usable in court. We can't use anything they got on their
video or their conversations because it was coerced."
To illustrate how Lifelock's co-founder deliberately operated out of
what appears to be a self serving act of shameless promotion:

"Police were awaiting subpoenaed records from
AT&T to verify whether the Internet Protocol
address was linked to the same suspect identified
by a private investigator hired by Davis.

But Fort Worth police Sgt. J.D. Moore, supervisor
of the major-case unit, said Davis went against his
advice and had a film crew tape the suspect's
confession in Davis' rush for justice."
And the article goes on to point out the impact Lifelock's
action had with the local authorities:

"That makes them judge, jury and executioner,"
Moore said.
This latest over the top act by Lifelock coupled with their
founder's suspect past, illustrates the need for consumers
and identity theft victims to be wary of big claims by
company spokesmen who might stray from ethical
and legal standards in the pursuit of quick profits from
others suffering from the ravages of identity theft.

So, our tip for today is to check out the track record
of companies claiming identity theft prevention services.
Unfortunately, there are those johnny come lately outfits
who put their own profit taking motives in advance of
helping people avoid this horrendous crime of identity

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wanted: Id Theft Justice from Congress

After a year later, President Bush's identity theft task force has
finally moved forward with its first substantive action.

The Bush administration last week sent proposed legislation to
Congress to update and improve federal identity theft laws
according to the Internet News.

The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2007
would allow ID theft victims to recover the value of the time
lost attempting to repair damage caused by identity theft.

Currently, victim restitution is limited to direct financial losses.

The bill would also expand the existing identity theft
and aggravated identity theft statutes to include
penalties for thieves who steal information from
corporations and organizations. Both statutes now
only deal with the identity theft of an individual.

In addition, provisions in the legislation increase
the penalties for ID thieves who use malicious
and keystroke loggers to commit their crimes.

So, while the another major governmental body is claiming
there is no real threat to identity theft, here's one instance
where we can applaud a different governmental group that
is finally doing something about identity theft.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Government Office Says What Identity Theft?

The Government Accounting Office, aka the "GAO", as our nation's
watch dog concluded in a recent report there is not much to actually
worry about.

...most breaches have not resulted in detected incidents,
particularly the unauthorized creation of new accounts.

Well, I guess we can all sleep a bit easier tonight knowing that our
government has declared the war on identity theft is not needed.

But, to the over 100 million Americans who've been the victims of
various data breaches since 2005 - mostly from inept acts of faulty
security procedures (eg., laptops with unencrypted personal data) of
those entities entrusted with the data -we would argue differently to

So, our tip for today is stay tuned on the latest development as recent
movement from the President Bush's special task force on identity
theft fortunately is taken a different approach to the GAO's report.

We will update you on this developing story during this upcoming

Check back with us automatically by subscribing to our free,
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favorite browser when we update this identity theft
prevention website.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Detroit Identity Thief Steals $200,000

A Detroit woman participated in a scheme that placed bogus
charges of $12.95 each on the credit cards of 75 to 100 people
daily between September 2006 and this past March according
to the Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

It seems the woman, a 40 year old resident of Detroit, may
have herself be the victim of a criminal accomplice in Bulgaria
whom she originally responded to an online job opening for "a
partner willing and able to perform as a project assistant" in
a "partnership program" with a company called P.O.V. Webdesign
as reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Unfortunately, for this Detroit woman, a get rich quick scheme
has turned into what appears will be a lengthy prison sentence.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison for
each count of identity theft and/or a fine of up to

So, our tip for today is for anyone who found that their credit cards
were billed $12.95 without their permission by K.A.T.O.
Technology, LLC, or K.A.M.K. Technology, LLC.

Contact the Michian Attorney General's office immediately.

Consumer Protection Division

P.O. Box 30213

Lansing, MI 48909

(517) 373-1140

Toll Free (877) 765-8388

Facsimile (517) 241-3771

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ex-Pfizer Employee Sues for Data Breach

Pfizer, the nation's largest pharmaceutical company is being sued
by a group of current and former employees over the unauthorized
release of personal data effecting 17,000 people according to CNN.

...the company discovered in April that the names and Social
Security numbers, and in some cases addresses, home and
cellular phone numbers and bonus information, were posted
on the Internet.

Evidently, the complaint is the company, Pfizer, waited 9 weeks after
they learned of the data breach to notify the impacted employees.

So, our tip for today is to contact Pfizer if you never took
advantage of their June 1st offer to provide free year's worth
of credit reporting for those 17,000 victims of identity disclosure.

Also, make sure to tell your friends of this latest disclosure involving
the Pfizer data breach.