Saturday, October 1, 2011

Countrywide ID theft scam

Incredible. They caught 2 of the men responsible for the Countrywide data breach. I don't think the punishment fit the crime myself.

This is a good article for people who still ask me "how did someone get my Social Security Number/Bank Account number/Date of Birth/et al. Here are some highlights and the link back:

Rebollo was arrested in 2008 after FBI investigators found that he was using a flash drive to download data from about 20,000 customers a week for two years.

Rebollo then sold the information to Wahid Siddiqi, 28, formerly of Thousand Oaks, for $500 and earned a combined $50,000, federal investigators said. He later pleaded guilty to unlawfully disclosing Social Security numbers in at least 50,000 [INSTANCES].

Siddiqi is serving a 3-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraud and admitted to selling the information to third parties, including an undercover FBI agent.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Legal Arizona Workers Act

This is an Identity Theft related issue as I have discussed, it relates directly to Social Security Identity Theft and the need for people to have a valid Social Security number:

Arizona passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act in 2007, allowing the state to suspend the licenses of businesses that "intentionally or knowingly" violate work-eligibility verification requirements. Companies would be required under that law to use E-Verify, a federal database to check the documentation of current and prospective employees

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

513 illegal immigrants in 2 tractor-trailers

I am posting this because I have not previously posted a story about this, but these people who paid $7000.00 each to travel to the US under these conditions would not hesitate to spend $50 for an "ID Kit" that includes a driver's license, social security card and a credit card, but this story focuses on what people will do just to get here:
"Mexican authorities said they found and detained more than 500 illegal immigrants from Central America and Asia who were crammed inside two tractor-trailers heading toward the United States on Tuesday."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hacker caught with 675K credit card accounts

A computer hacker from Georgia pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud and identity theft after authorities found more than 675,000 stolen credit card accounts on his home computers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Largest Data Breach in Texas

Are you a Teacher in TX? Claimed Unemployment in TX? Retired Texas State Employee?
Then if you are one of this subset of 3.5 Million people, you should already know about this:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Epsilon Data Breach called "The single largest criminal act in history"

Spear-phishing is perhaps responsible for Epsilon leak.
I cover that topic in class.

Here are some sources regarding the Epsilon Data Breach of from

The world’s largest “permissions-based” e-mail marketing company, Epsilon, reported late last week that someone hacked into its computer system and stole an unknown number of e-mail addresses and names.

According to Professor Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State University, “This is probably the single largest criminal act in history since this company potentially has compromised the recipients on the 40 BILLION or so e-mails they send out each year.”

Epsilon should have seen this coming since Nov 2010...
Computerworld - The massive data breach at email service provider Epsilon may have been caused by a targeted spear-phishing campaign that the company should have known about for at least four months, Australian newspaper ITNews reported today.

Congress apparently wants more information on this incident as well.

How would your company respond to a similar request or one from local law enforcement or the State Attorney General?

The leaders of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee want some answers from the company that was hit by a data breach last week that involved the loss of data about customers of some of the nation's biggest banks and retailers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pastor turns himself in

I've heard this type of story more than once but this is a recent version in print.

It is a good illustration of you can't tell who may become an identity thief or who may become a victim. It is interesting to note in this excerpt that a church elder was the ID Theft Victim and the Pastor/Thief used the church funds to pay on the fraudulent credit card (a separate but related crime I believe). The Pastor did turn himself in.

According to Detective Gary Souto, Bruce Stutzman, the former senior pastor at New Hope Alliance Church, had a Pasco warrant for using the personal information a church elder to open up a credit card and charge $17,400.


Souto learned that the credit card account was opened in January of that year and Stutzman,40, allegedly used $3,400 in church funds to pay on the fraudulent account.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Legal Arizona Worker's Act

People, some in disbelief, still ask me about this so I'm updating my blog with this link to an AZ law firm that has an article about this stating:
Penalties for intentionally or knowingly hiring or employing illegal immigrants are severe. Employers face mandatory suspension of their business licenses for first offenses and permanent revocation of their business licenses for second offenses.
And here is a link to the Arizona Attorney General's website about the law itself

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Anndorie Sachs Medical Identity Theft on CBS

Although I have not used this video in a training class for years, it is still a good example of how interrelated the 5 Types of Identity Theft are and how serious they can be. Anndorie Sachs suffered 4 of the 5 major types of Identity Theft when her purse was stolen.

The story is from the CBS Early Show in 2006. The video clip is a very educational way to spend 4 minutes of your time.

This story was also featured in Good Housekeeping magazine and was the first part of that article once available online here but I have the physical magazine article myself and may consider posting it later.

To quote part of the CBS Video Transcript:
One of those victims was Anndorie Sachs. Several months ago, she got an alarming phone call: her newborn baby had just tested positive for illegal drugs — but Sachs hasn't given birth in years.

"I was absolutely floored, you would just never imagine in a million years that something could happen like this," she told The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen. "As much as I denied it, they just kept insisting that yes, I was the mother of this child, there was nothing I could say to get out of it."

To make matters worse, authorities showed up at her door the next day, called her an unfit mother and threatened to take away her four kids.

"When you know you're innocent and you didn't do anything wrong, it just absolutely — I was in tears, I was a wreck," she said.

It turned out that someone had stolen her driver's license, walked into a hospital, and had a baby and left Sachs with a $10,000 bill and a fight to clear her name.

Chris Dorn, a fraud expert with Ingenix, a company that tracks medical ID theft cases, says victims of medical identity theft also have to worry about medical records being altered with the crook's information substituted for their own.


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