January 23, 2013
IDENTITY THEFT IS a crime that's easy to dismiss. Until it happens to you. Just imagine: You've filed your tax return and are eagerly awaiting your refund. It's money you desperately need to pay some bills or buy whatever you've been hankering for. But then you get a notice from the IRS saying that your return has been rejected. You won't be getting a refund because it already has been claimed. You've become a victim of identity theft. Now, identity theft becomes very real. And it's getting frustratingly real for a growing number of taxpayers.
October 5, 2013 |
When you or someone you know suffers identity theft, the typical loss is more than $4,900, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. So how can we protect ourselves? A June study found that the number of identity fraud victims annually in the United States totaled 11.5 million people. So we put together some tips to fight identity theft: Guard your mail and trash from theft. Have the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail while away from home, and install a lockable mailbox. Tear or shred receipts, insurance information, credit applications, doctor's bills, checks and bank statements, old credit cards, and any credit offers received in the mail.
October 27, 2011 |
Three Philadelphia men were charged Thursday in an aggravated identity theft and bank fraud scheme that victimized 23 individuals and six banks throughout the region. Authorities said that from December 2006 through July 2011, Lawrence Fudge, 46, Shawn Robinson, 38, and Richard Williams, 23, used stolen identification information to fraudulently withdraw, or attempt to withdraw, more than $148,00 from victims' bank accounts. The trio also allegedly obtained retail credit cards in victims' names and purchased, or attempted to purchase, goods worth more than $42,000.
September 8, 2013 |
Abington police have arrested two U.S. Postal Service employees who they say stole customers' credit card numbers and used them to purchase gift cards, aquarium tickets, and other items. Rashaad Schell, 23, and Daryl Matthews, 24, both of Philadelphia, are charged with identity theft, conspiracy, forgery, and related offenses. They were arraigned Thursday, and bail was set at $75,000 each. Police say the men used their cellphones to capture photos or videos of customers' credit cards.
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.