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Identity Theft

NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
October 5, 2013 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
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.
NEWS
September 8, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 11, 2005 | By Bonnie L. Cook INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
February 13, 2002 | By Marc Schogol INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
May 5, 2011 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
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.
NEWS
December 3, 2002 | By Crispin Sartwell
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.
NEWS
September 12, 2003 | By Bob Martin
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.
NEWS
June 14, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former social worker and three employees of a residential-care facility for the disabled have been charged with selling the identities of children in their care to help others cheat on their taxes - a scheme U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger described Thursday as "truly despicable. " Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing Gebah Kamara, 46, of Sharon Hill, of stealing personal information from several foster children he encountered while working for Catholic Social Services, the charitable wing of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
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