Monday, June 08, 2009

$1.4 million Identity Theft Fraud Ring Recruited Bank Employees

In a sign of the financial services industry turmoil has created
fertile ground for identity theft by insiders, a major identity
theft fraud ring was recently uncovered that stole over $1.4
million with the aid of tellers in at least 3 major banks.

According to the New York County District Attorney, the
identity theft criminals used the stolen personal information
to mostly create counterfeit checks in the thousands.

By fraudulently cashing and depositing the
counterfeit checks, the defendants stole over
$1.4 million from one bank’s accounts and
substantial additional sums from other banks.

"Victims of this scam included private individuals,
corporations, religious institutions, hospitals, and
schools, as well as city and state government agencies."

While every major retail bank in Manhattan was targeted,
the following banks were disclosed in the recent indictment
as part of an on-going investigation:

  • JP Morgan Chase
  • TD/Commerce
  • Wachovia
  • HSBC

The fraud ring would not have been as successful in their identity theft
fraund operation without the aid of bank staff.

"These employees, often tellers, had access both to the
banks’ computer systems and to large numbers of valid
checks processed during legitimate customer transactions.

In return for cash payments, the recruited tellers
photocopied valid customer checks and printed out
copies of customer profiles, which contained the
customers’ names, addresses, social security
numbers, bank account numbers and account balances."

Serious personal information used in a very serious identity
theft fraud crime - one which may very well still yet to be
fully uncovered as the investigation continues possibly
involving these additional financial institutions:

Some of the other financial institutions affected by this
group’s criminal activities are

  1. Bank of America
  2. Citibank, Capitol
  3. One Bank
  4. Washington Mutual Bank
  5. EAB Bank
  6. Banco Popular
  7. Amalgamated Bank
  8. M & T Bank
  9. Sovereign Bank
  10. First National Bank
  11. United Bank
  12. Citizens Bank
  13. Fleet Bank

With the scale and scope of this latest insider fueled identity theft
fraud, this case has the opportunity to become of one of the the
largest in 2009.

So, our tip for today is to take action by not waiting for the identity
theft criminals and the banks to notify you of your financial future
being ruined.

Check out your bank statements if you transact with any of the
financial institutions listed above. Also, for the on-going prevention
of identity theft, it would be wise to institute automatic credit
monitoring on all of your major banking and credit accounts.

Finally, as your social security number (ssn) can be used in
other major forms of fraud such as medical identity theft and
arrest warrant scams both of which can put you in jail - get
your public information profile (pip) to review for these very
serious forms of identity theft that no major credit bureau
report was ever designed to catch.


At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Jed said...

Wow. I have read a bit about this identity theft ring. It is tough to see how much the insiders helped in these acts. I would really like to get a better idea of the involvement of the insiders in this particular case. It seems that they were really going after a big score here (much bigger than it was when busted).

Banks need to do a better job creating checks for their employees. It's surprising to me we don't hear of cases like this weekly (if not more often). When you think about it, during every transaction, the teller has ample information to wreak havoc with that identity. If the teller had a telegraphic memory, who knows how many identities could be at risk everyday?

Interesting, but very scary case, in my opinion.


At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Fran Selvaggio said...

I had my identity stolen by the Bank of America at Yankee Stadium-one of their associates baited me with a free T-shirt, took all my personal information, and obviously sold it. Someone opened credit accounts in my name - and the bank won't even acknowledge it, let alone give me the associate's name so I can press charges. I know I'm not the only victim from that opening day on 4-16-09. There were at least two others. Bank of America says I should subpoena the info if I want it - Yankee Stadium says, gee, talk to Bank of America. Anyone else out there have this happen? If so, what did you do? I won't give up, I'm going to press charges.

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B of A will not investigate losses under $5000.00 as I was told by one of their employee's when I was reporting fraud. The bank employee working my case has avoided calling law enforcment trying to work my case, for over two months and according to the detective, at least 9 different voice messages left requesting a return call. So how can law enforcement stop these crimes if the banks are supporting the criminals? Also B of A has yet to respond to my request for Information about my case, as required by FTC. Over the 30 day time period now. It seems to be out of control!!!!

At 11:17 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

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