August 11, 2005 |
The speaker had nice blue eyes and a winning smile. "We'll need everyone who attended to fill out this form with their name and address and Social Security number," Joe Malone told 40 elderly people who gathered yesterday at the Upper Merion Senior Service Center. Thirty-five didn't, but five did - which was Malone's point. An investigator for the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, Malone used the demonstration to show how a scam artist gains the trust of victims, only to exploit them later.
February 13, 2002 |
Two women have been charged with using information from a bank damaged in the World Trade Center attack to open fake charge accounts and spend thousands of dollars at the Granite Run Mall in Delaware County. Authorities said yesterday they were unsure how the two women - from Philadelphia and New York - got the information from the Bank of New York building on Church Street. Though it was damaged in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the building did not spew records and documents into the streets.
June 15, 2005
Consumers hardly can go a week without some reminder to safeguard against identity theft - like the new Annenberg Public Policy Center study showing that half of all Americans are clueless about basic online ruses. But what about the companies that earn millions in profits handling consumers' data by the billions of bytes? Well, those retailers, financial firms, and information brokers have been alarmingly slow to get religion, too. Consider the stunning disclosure last week that personal information on 3.9 million Citigroup customers was boxed up, and then lost in transit by United Parcel Service.
May 5, 2011 |
Over the last few days, online gamers who use the Sony PlayStation Network and subscribers to Sony's Qriocity music and video services have learned some disturbing news: A "criminal cyber-attack" last month on Sony's San Diego data center laid open the sensitive personal information of tens of millions of Sony customers, exposing them to identity theft and other data crimes. But the story also lays bare a disturbing truth for the rest of us: If a high-tech stalwart like Sony can't be fully trusted, it's clear that data insecurity is here to stay - something we'll all have to cope with for the foreseeable future, despite continual efforts to keep it under control.
December 3, 2002 |
On Nov. 25, federal authorities arrested Philip Cummings, a computer help desk worker for the Teledata company in Long Island, and charged him with stealing and selling the financial records - including credit card and checking account numbers - of 30,000 people. At least two others have also been arrested. This is the largest case thus far exposed of "identity theft" - a crime of stealing information that amounts to . . . you. The story conjures an image of the computer help desk as a kind of cyber-hell, with 33-year-old alleged identity thief Cummings as an information-age Satan.
September 12, 2003 |
A high school acquaintance, a distinctive name, and a law-abiding life have added up to a nightmare for Marquette Frierson. The legal system, which normally finds people innocent until proved guilty, has flipflopped the rules for the 27-year mental-health worker from Yeadon. He is a felon until he can prove otherwise. Now, as he works to that end, his story serves as a warning that, in the age of information and identity theft, the criminal justice system can brand us for life.
January 31, 2012
A national crackdown on tax-related identity theft last week targeted more than 100 people and led to 58 arrests, according to the IRS and other federal officials. The IRS said it was also stepping up internal reviews to spot false tax returns, and working to help victims of identity theft refund schemes. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said the crackdown "sends a strong, unmistakable message to anyone considering participating in a refund fraud scheme this tax season. We are aggressively pursuing cases across the nation with the Justice Department, and people will be going to jail.
April 17, 2013 |
Oh, look: a letter from the IRS. My electronically filed tax return has been received . . . and rejected. Some crook filed a tax return via my Social Security number (stolen). Hello, identity theft. Hello, faceless cyber-burglars beyond reach. It's a multibillion-dollar industry, according to the U.S. Treasury inspector general for tax administration, who pegs the cost at $21 billion over the next five years. I'm but one of millions who have had their IDs stolen. Like them, I'm now scurrying to restore my info and shore up protection against these slimy genius hacker-creeps.
January 12, 2012
Two Philadelphia residents were arrested Wednesday and a third is being sought on charges of participating in a multistate identity-theft ring, federal authorities said. Arelis Abreu Ramos, age unknown, and Luis Raphael Rodriguez, 40, both living in Philadelphia, were arrested Wednesday. After hearings in U.S. District Court, both men were detained pending removal to Puerto Rico. A third Philadelphia resident, Angel A. Lugo Nieves, 40, was also indicted. He is being sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
July 27, 2012 |
Dear Harry: Last summer, I became a victim of identity theft. It was a mess to clear up, but I think I'm OK now. My credit-card statements are all OK and so are my store accounts, but I now have a new problem. Two of the major credit- reporting companies are badgering me with emails, and one called to urge me to put me on their credit-monitoring systems. I wouldn't mind doing this, but the cost is more than $130 a year. Do I have to go this route in order to make sure the person who stole my identity doesn't do it again?