Archive for June, 2016

Man Gets Prison For Identity Theft Involving Mail Stolen From 50 People

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) – A man arrested by police in western Michigan for trying to empty a coffee shop tip jar has been sentenced to prison for identify theft involving mail stolen from at least 50 people in the Holland area.

WZZM-TV reports federal investigators say Tracy Rudisel stole mail by picking locks at a commercial postal facility. He was also accused of illegally having social security information for five people and other documents.

The 49-year-old was sentenced Monday to 39 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1,440 in restitution. WOOD-TV reports Rudisel pleaded guilty in February to identity theft and possession of stolen mail.

The mail thefts took place between December 2013 and February 2014. Holland police found letters in his backpack when they arrested him in the tip jar theft.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/06/28/man-gets-prison-for-identity-theft-involving-mail-stolen-from-50-people/

Technorati Tags: ,

US Secret Service investigating Minooka identity theft spree

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

MINOOKA – Contrary to rumors, the Minooka Police Department has not arrested anyone in connection with a recent string of identity thefts, Police Chief Justin Meyer said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Minooka police received at least 70 reports of identity theft earlier this month.

Meyer said the department was initially in contact with a law enforcement agency in Missouri that had arrested two people on charges related to “card cloning.” The pair happened to be in the Bloomington-Normal area earlier this month. Evidence found in the investigation, however, had no ties to Minooka.

The department is working with the U.S. Secret Service, Meyer said, which has collected extensive bank records provided by victims.

“The USSS is now analyzing that data and hopefully can provide our department, and you, the answers we are looking for in one to two weeks,” Meyer said in the statement.

Article source: http://www.morrisherald-news.com/2016/06/29/u-s-secret-service-investigating-minooka-identity-theft-spree/ayp8zfi/

Technorati Tags: ,

Spokane Valley man charged with 71 counts of identity theft

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Article source: http://www.krem.com/news/local/spokane-county/spokane-valley-man-charged-with-71-counts-of-identity-theft/259606970

Technorati Tags: ,

Cell phone accounts being hacked in new identity theft scam

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The California Highway Patrol has released the name of the San Luis Obispo woman killed in a crash early Tuesday morning on Highway 101 in Paso Robles as Rebecca Golde, 40.

Article source: http://www.ksby.com/story/32335197/cell-phone-accounts-being-hacked-in-new-identity-theft-scam

Technorati Tags: ,

Airbnb hosts could be targeted by identity thieves: report

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Airbnb

Airbnb listings in Los Angeles

The next time you peek into a stranger’s medicine cabinet, consider this: They’d probably do the same to you. And it could be a reason to avoid Airbnb, according to identity monitoring firm LifeLock, regardless of Los Angeles’ pending regulations on short-term rental platforms.

LifeLock’s identity experts found that online services like Airbnb pose a greater risk for being subject to identity theft, the L.A. Times reported. Surveying about 1,000 American adults, LifeLock found that 40 percent had admitted to snooping through the private items inside the homes they visit.

Home sharing, therefore, increases the likelihood of identity theft because guests have direct access to personal data, LifeLock’s identity education chief Paige Hanson told the Times. Hotels, on the other hand, do not have this problem.

Millennials — the demographic most likely to use sites like Airbnb — are even nosier: 57 percent said they’ve snooped.

But here’s a caveat: LifeLock has not found a direct link between the rise of identity theft and equally surging popularity of short-term rentals.

On its website, Airbnb advises hosts to lock up their personal items and data. But it also offers an extra layer of protection. If a host has his or her identity stolen, the company will pay for the services of AllClear, a company that works to fix identify theft issues for victims.

In April, city officials drew up a plan to limit the length of Airbnb stays, in addition to levying taxes and fines for hosts who shirk the law. A vote is scheduled for July. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen

Article source: http://therealdeal.com/la/2016/06/29/airbnb-might-increase-chances-of-identity-theft-report/

Technorati Tags: ,

San Jose man sentenced in sweeping ID theft ring that bankrolled new breasts, swindled 4-year-old

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

SAN JOSE — A San Jose man has been sentenced to prison for his role in a sweeping identity-theft scheme prosecutors say raided nest eggs, swindled a 4-year-old boy and hijacked one man’s medical record to bankroll new breasts for an accomplice.

Tri Van Nguyen, 47, is the fourth and final defendant sentenced in connection with an operation authorities are calling “one of the most extensive and insidious identity theft rings in the city’s history.”

Judge Socrates Manoukian on Monday ordered that Nguyen serve 17 years in prison after the defendant pleaded guilty earlier in the year to 87 felony counts. All told, police and prosecutors say Nguyen and his co-conspirators bilked more than $500,000 out of 63 — and likely dozens more — victims.

Tri Van Nguyen, 47, of San Jose, was sentenced to 17 years in prison on June 27, 2016 in connection with a massive identity-theft ring that claimed 63

The targets of Nguyen and his crew included “grieving widows, an elderly couple who lost their retirement account, and a 4-year-old boy whose stolen identity was used to pay off a relative’s power bill,” according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The illicit money was reportedly spent on everything from luxury cars and electronics to ammunition.

“These were not people shoplifting from a grocery store to feed themselves,” said Vishal Bathija, a deputy district attorney in the office’s major fraud unit. “This was a destructive, extensive and obscene money grab.”

He added that the foursome obtained identities through an array of methods that included committing home and auto burglaries, stealing mail, scouring obituaries, and even starting a fake anti-theft website to dupe victims into offering sensitive information.

In one of the most egregious cases linked to the crew, the thieves co-opted a man’s identity to pay for breast-augmentation surgery for 36-year-old Mai Hoang, who was sentenced to 17 years and eight months in connection with the scheme. The victim in that instance was not only stuck with clearing himself from the bill, but expunging the procedure from his medical record, Bathija said.

Authorities were tipped off to the operation in late 2013 after a victim reported her IRA account was missing $100,000 after a home burglary, Bathija said. Investigators traced the withdrawal to an apartment in North San Jose, where they found what they called an identity-theft “factory” that included four printers used to create fake ID’s and fake $100 bills.

Hoang, and accomplices Ha Van Nguyen, 38, and Kent Do, 30, were arrested the day of the discovery; Tri Van Nguyen was arrested about a week later.

The apartment that served as their base of operations was rented in the name of one of their victims.

Ha Van Nguyen was sentenced to 29 years and eight months in prison and Do was sentenced to 10 years probation — with prosecutors citing his lack of a previous criminal history and minimal role in the scheme — stemming from the investigation. The case came to involve the DA’s office, San Jose police, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspector and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bathija said identity thieves “believe it’s easy to commit the crime without being detected, and that punishments will not be severe. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here and hopefully identity thieves will take heed.”

People who believe they might be a victims in this case or have information for investigators can contact their local police departments. Victims of identity theft looking to restore their identities and credit histories can seek guidance at identitytheftcouncil.org.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_30063397/man-sentenced-sweeping-id-theft-ring-that-bankrolled

Technorati Tags: ,

Criminals can steal your identity to get free iPhones and there’s little you can do about it

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Identity theft is one of the worst things that can happen to someone online, and getting rid of the problems that follow might become a never-ending quest. Considering that millions of consumers have had personal details stolen in the last few years, cyber criminals have a seemingly easy task at hand: gathering enough data about a person to start impersonating him or her for financial gain.

Now authorities are now investigating a new type of fraud based on stealing someone’s identity which is currently surging: stealing mobile accounts.

DON’T MISS: Galaxy Note 7: How does 6GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage sound?

Attackers in these scenarios gain access to a person’s mobile account by impersonating that customer. They proceed to order phone upgrades to high-end devices, usually iPhone, and the devices are then sold to third parties. The owner of the account might not be affected financially, even though he or she could take a temporary hit, but the carrier ends up paying for it.

However, when this type of attack occurs, a person’s mobile phone might unexpectedly die, causing a series of unwanted side-effects. Imagine not being able to log into any online service because your phone doesn’t work for authentication anymore.And imagine an attacker having temporary access to two-factor authentication passwords for your accounts. In most fraud cases, the perpetrator walks away with a brand new phone that has the number belonging to the person who’s targeted in the attack.

Nobody is safe from these attacks. The carriers, NBC News reports, know about the matter and have steps in place to ensure that only an account holder can make changes to a mobile phone account. But if a criminal has personal data belonging to his or her target, then bypassing these security steps is probably very easy.

Dena Haritos Tsamitis, who knows a thing or two about cyber security since she teaches it at Carnegie Mellon University, was a target herself. She lost access to her account in March. When calling customer support, they said she went to a store in New York City where she upgraded two of her phones to iPhones, shutting down the old devices. She lives in Pittsburgh and has not been to New York, and she never authorized the transaction.

“It was a nightmare. It was hugely inconvenient and caused a lot of stress, but it would have been much worse had I needed to use the phone,” she said. “I had to cancel all of my meetings and spend the next day in the phone store.”

Lorie Cranor, who’s the chief technologist for the FTC, had the same thing happen to her on the day her husband died. This goes to show that nobody is safe.

The FTC is aware of this type of fraud and it’s investigating cases. The number of incidents, however, is increasing at a steady pace. In January 2013, some 1,038 cases were recorded. Three years later, the number reached 2,658.

If you’re the target of such an attack, it’s likely that criminals have somehow stolen plenty of details about you. That means you should start securing your digital assets with better passwords immediately. The next time they try to impersonate you, they might be going after something else that could be a lot more damaging financially.

You should also enable a second layer of security for your mobile account, a password or PIN that would be required to make changes to it. All carriers offer the feature – here’s how to enable it.

Article source: http://bgr.com/2016/06/28/identity-theft-mobile-phone/

Technorati Tags: ,

From smash and grab to identity theft, a victim’s warning as police search for suspects

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

RUSTON, Wash. —  Ruston Police are trying to identify a woman captured on surveillance cameras using Samantha Logar’s stolen credit cards.

Police say the credit cards were stolen from Samantha’s car, while she shopped inside a Tacoma Fred Meyer on June 6.

“It’s really disturbing to know that within a half hour of her breaking my window she’s got my bag my ID my credit cards and she’s attempting to use them.  I had been in there only 30 minutes and I got a text on my cell phone asking me if I was charging at a nearby Walgreens,” says Samantha.

Samantha replied “deny” to the fraud prevention text messages from her bank. She thought it was just a mistake.

“Low and behold, went out to the car and sure enough the window was broken and realized that my bag had been stolen,” says Samantha.

Samantha says two backpacks were missing form her backseat and inside them; a crook’s dream.

“My credit cards, I had a loan application in the bag so it had social security number, how much money I make, where I work, where I live, it had an old picture ID, a passport,” says Samantha.

Ruston Police Chief, Victor Celis, says the only way to protect yourself is to never leave anything of value in your car; not even your trunk is safe.

“If they walk by your car and they don’t see anything, hopeful they’ll move on somewhere else. And if they just keep moving down the line, eventually hopefully they will run out of places,” says Celis.

“I find myself carrying everything with me now and not leaving anything to be vulnerable,” says Samantha.

Ruston Police say the suspect is also working with a man. But they do not have a description for him just yet. Police say the two were driving a green SUV.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.

Article source: http://q13fox.com/2016/06/28/from-smash-and-grab-to-identify-theft-a-victims-warning-as-police-search-for-suspects/

Technorati Tags: ,

Bay Area couple arrested on mail theft charges, identity theft

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

A Bay Area couple was arrested this month on suspicion of mail theft, identity theft and conspiracy on Singley Drive, Milpitas Police Department reported.

On June 8 at 4:15 a.m., a witness reported seeing two people rummaging through mailboxes and removing mail from residences along the 400 block of Singley Drive. Responding officers located Noah Kerran, 34, of San Francisco, and Jessica Flores, 30, of Antioch, and a large amount of discarded mail from residences in the area, according to police.

Based on the investigation, both were taken into custody on suspicion of theft of mail. Officers also learned there was a vehicle parked in the area associated to the couple. Police located a blue 1994 Dodge Caravan on the 400 block of Corinthia Drive, which was occupied by Kathleen Russell, 31, of Fremont.

A search of the Caravan revealed several identification cards, credit cards, checks, tools and electronic equipment which obviously did not belong to the group, police said. As a result of the investigation, officers were able to identify 19 victims of mail theft or auto burglary, police said.

Flores and Kerran were booked into Santa Clara County Jail for mail theft, identity theft and conspiracy, police said. Russell was booked for possession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property and outstanding warrants.

Anyone with any additional information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Information can also be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website at https://forms.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/forms/view.php?id=47511.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_30065562/suspects-arrested-mail-theft-charges-identity-theft

Technorati Tags: ,

San Jose man sentenced in sweeping ID theft ring that bankrolled new breasts, swindled 4-year-old

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Tri Van Nguyen, 47, of San Jose, was sentenced to 17 years in prison on June 27, 2016 in connection with a massive identity-theft ring that claimed 63

SAN JOSE — A San Jose man has been sentenced to prison for his role in a sweeping identity-theft scheme prosecutors say raided nest eggs, swindled a 4-year-old boy and hijacked one man’s medical record to bankroll new breasts for an accomplice.

Tri Van Nguyen, 47, is the fourth and final defendant sentenced in connection with an operation authorities are calling “one of the most extensive and insidious identity theft rings in the city’s history.”

Judge Socrates Manoukian on Monday ordered that Nguyen serve 17 years in prison after the defendant pleaded guilty earlier in the year to 87 felony counts. All told, police and prosecutors say Nguyen and his co-conspirators bilked more than $500,000 out of 63 — and likely dozens more — victims.

The targets of Nguyen and his crew included “grieving widows, an elderly couple who lost their retirement account, and a 4-year-old boy whose stolen identity was used to pay off a relative’s power bill,” according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The illicit money was reportedly spent on everything from luxury cars and electronics to ammunition.

“These were not people shoplifting from a grocery store to feed themselves,” said Vishal Bathija, a deputy district attorney in the office’s major fraud unit. “This was a destructive, extensive and obscene money grab.”

He added that the foursome obtained identities through an array of methods that included committing home and auto burglaries, stealing mail, scouring obituaries, and even starting a fake anti-theft website to dupe victims into offering sensitive information.

In one of the most egregious cases linked to the crew, the thieves co-opted a man’s identity to pay for breast-augmentation surgery for 36-year-old Mai Hoang, who was sentenced to 17 years and eight months in connection with the scheme. The victim in that instance was not only stuck with clearing himself from the bill, but expunging the procedure from his medical record, Bathija said.

Authorities were tipped off to the operation in late 2013 after a victim reported her IRA account was missing $100,000 after a home burglary, Bathija said. Investigators traced the withdrawal to an apartment in North San Jose, where they found what they called an identity-theft “factory” that included four printers used to create fake ID’s and fake $100 bills.

Hoang, and accomplices Ha Van Nguyen, 38, and Kent Do, 30, were arrested the day of the discovery; Tri Van Nguyen was arrested about a week later.

The apartment that served as their base of operations was rented in the name of one of their victims.

Ha Van Nguyen was sentenced to 29 years and eight months in prison and Do was sentenced to 10 years probation — with prosecutors citing his lack of a previous criminal history and minimal role in the scheme — stemming from the investigation. The case came to involve the DA’s office, San Jose police, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspector and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bathija said identity thieves “believe it’s easy to commit the crime without being detected, and that punishments will not be severe. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here and hopefully identity thieves will take heed.”

People who believe they might be a victims in this case or have information for investigators can contact their local police departments. Victims of identity theft looking to restore their identities and credit histories can seek guidance at identitytheftcouncil.org.

Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.

Article source: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/california/ci_30063399/man-sentenced-sweeping-id-theft-ring-that-bankrolled

Technorati Tags: ,