Archive for the ‘Internet Identity Theft’ Category

Mansfield police eye identity theft scam after arrest at store

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

MANSFIELD — A 20-year-old man faces charges in connection with what police say was an identity theft scam to get electronics.

Dennis Odom of Pawtucket faces charges in Attleboro District Court of receiving stolen property and conspiracy, according to police.

He was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Best Buy at Mansfield Crossing following an investigation by officers Michael Fenore and Nicole Newport.

Inside his car, police discovered a laptop, four empty iPhone cases and $1,500 worth of gift cards, according to court records.

Police are investigating whether the alleged scam also targeted Best Buy stores in Seekonk, Warwick and Franklin.

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After Equifax Hack, Should You Get Identify Theft Insurance?

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

The Equifax hack has left a lot of people — to say nothing of the 143 million that could have been affected — wondering how they can better protect their personal data, in the event it’s spilled onto the dark web or a massive Pastebin text file.

Those that who weren’t Equifaxed might look for an added precaution in case something like this happens again: identity theft insurance. Although it sounds like a good idea to insure yourself against personal risk, it’s unclear how effective insuring against identity theft is for consumers.

With massive data breaches basically happening on the reg now — the leak of 198 Million Voters’ Data from the GOP back in June, or the 500 million Yahoo users in 2016 — identity theft insurance has become a something of a cottage industry. Although many data disasters in the past haven’t made information like Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses vulnerable like the Equifax breach did, it’s still giving Americans enough anxiety to support several companies offering identity theft insurance.

But here’s the thing you need to know about identity theft insurance: it doesn’t really cover what’s been lost in the case of a stolen identity, but rather the expenses incurred to reclaim a financial identity. Attorney fees, postage costs, and lost wages if you have to take time off work to deal with everything could all be covered under identity theft insurance, but it’s not there to reimburse you for stolen money.

Liberty Mutual offers up to $15,000 per occurrence, with $30,000 per policy period for expenses like loan application fees, when reapplying for loans if you’ve been rejected following credit fraud. They’ll provide a year of credit monitoring from the date of first report to help prevent further losses; something Equifax is now offering for free to clients following the breach. But you have to already have homeowner’s, condo coverage or renter’s insurance with Liberty, at which point it will cost $35 more a year to tack on identity theft insurance. If you do decide to get identity theft insurance, check your other insurance policies first — it’s likely that it’s something you can tack on for a fee.

Equifax also offers credit monitoring and identity protection plans. For $30 a month there’s the Equifax Complete Family Plan, and for $20 there’s the Equifax Complete Premier Plan. On its website, both plans claim to offer up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. Details about how that would actually work out — or how your costs would ever reach $1 million — are vague; by time of writing, Equifax could not be reached for comment. We’ll update when we hear back.

Your chances of incurring a hefty tab from identity theft are actually reassuringly low, at least according to data collected in 2014 by the Department of Justice. They found that only 14 percent of identity theft victims experienced out-of-pocket losses of $1 or more. And about half of those suffered losses that were less than $100. Of those that experienced a financial loss, the average cost was $503.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, under the Fair Credit Billing Act, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card can’t go higher than $50..

Still, peace of mind can come with its own price tag. Identity theft insurance is something that might be worth it if you like the idea of having a plan in place should you need assistance in recovering from fraud. Be aware of each plan’s deductible too; policies could require you to pay the first $100 to $500 before they kick in. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also recommends that if the policy covers lost wages, verify if there are limits to it, and make sure your job is covered.

Otherwise, if you haven’t been affected by the Equifax hack, regularly checking on bank account and credit card statements and other monthly bills is a free way to try to look out for identity theft. If you think something has been compromised, make sure you immediately freeze your accounts.

If you liked this article, check out this video: “Finland’s New Basic Income Experiment”

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Using smartphone photos as fingerprints could help fight identity theft

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

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Connecticut man convicted in Baton Rouge in $1 million identity theft fraud scheme

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

A Connecticut man accused in a nationwide scheme involving hundreds of stolen identities and millions of dollars in counterfeit checks was convicted Friday by a Baton Rouge federal court jury, acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said.

Walter Glenn, 40, of Hartford, and others obtained the personal identifying information of 400-plus victims and used the information to create fraudulent identification cards and counterfeit checks that allowed them to engage in fraudulent transactions at retailers, Amundson stated.

Glenn and others traveled across the country in rental vehicles between January 2014 and August 2015 and attempted to cash nearly $2 million in bogus checks, defrauding retailers out of roughly $1 million, he said.

The case originated with a traffic stop in West Baton Rouge Parish, federal prosecutors said previously.

Three out-of-state men are facing federal charges in Baton Rouge in an ongoing probe into a nationwide scheme involving millions of dollars in…

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson will sentence Glenn on April 6. He remains in federal custody.

Glenn’s co-conspirator, Thomas James, 57, of Union, South Carolina, pleaded guilty in the case earlier in the week.

The fraudulent scheme cost Walmart stores in Louisiana, including Port Allen, and several other states more than $1.2 million, according to an indictment returned by a Baton Rouge federal grand jury in 2015.

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Man Sentenced For Mail, Identity Theft & Bank Fraud « CBS Denver

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Tedisco targeted in identity theft scheme – Gloversville Leader

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

The Republican Senator said the process of stopping fraudulent activity was not only daunting, but time consuming and stressful. He is now taking that experience to state Senate, asking lawmakers to enforce stiffer penalties on financial and credit institutions who suspect fraud and who do not report it immediately. He said one of the things he most upset by, is the fact that the credit agency waited so long to inform the public.

“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. What I learned from this is that we need a quicker response to any level of a security breach, five to seven days at most,” said Tedisco.

Tedisco said he first realized he was one of the 143 million Americans affected when he received two letters from the Social Security Administration, one in regards to his change in address, and the other letting him know a Social Security account was opened in his name in El Paso, Texas. Tedisco then immediately began to make phone calls, quickly learning about how difficult the process of cleaning up a credit mess can be.

“For many people time is money, and the time it took to make the phone calls to fix things was unacceptable. People have to go to work, have to get the kids to school, they don’t have hours to sit on the phone and get something sorted out, when they are in fact the victim. There has to be a more efficient way,” Tedisco said.

In addition to his endless calls to Social Security, he had to freeze his credit through three agencies. Tedisco explains that people are encouraged to be responsible and frequently check their credit, but part of the problem is that there are often times fees for people to check their credit.

“There needs to be at least two times a year when people are allowed to check their credit for free, and anyone who has been breached should able to so monthly for a period of time,” said Tedisco.

As one of America’s fastest growing crimes, Tedisco said he considers identity theft to be a form of terrorism, and he feels the penalties need to be more swift and serious.

“Our state and federal laws, and enforcement agencies, need to do a better job of keeping up with the technology out there that enables these terrorists to steal identity. We make progress, but then they are always two steps ahead, we need to get ahead of the game,” said Tedisco.

Part of the changes that he is looking to make include consumer protection legislation that raises penalties for not only the thieves, but for companies that don’t protect data or inform consumers in a timely manner, “said Tedisco.

On the state level, there is proposed regulation that would require credit reporting agencies to register with the state under cybersecurity standards. The regulation will give the Department of Financial Services superintendent the authority to deny the agencies the ability to do business with financial institutions and consumers in the state if they do not comply with certain rules when it comes to handling security breaches. Tedisco hopes these new regulations to be passed, and up and running, sooner than later.

“Passing any new legislation is a process, so it has to work its way through,” said Tedisco.

As far as what consumers can do now, Tedisco said pay attention to your financial statements, shred important documents, pay attention to anything that seems strange, like unusual letters in the mail, like the one he received in the mail from Social Security. If you do find yourself to be one of the millions of Americans who are victimized, Tedisco said be sure to contact your local police department, credit agencies, IRS and Social Security.

“Be vigilant, check your accounts often, not once every six months,” said Tedisco.

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Florida Man Indicted On Identity Theft, Bank Fraud In Michigan

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

DETROIT, MI- A Florida man was indicted Thursday on multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud, and identity theft, according to a statement from Acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch. Kyle Cameron, 30, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, faces a total of 17 charges for his alleged role in a bank fraud scheme that was carried out in Michigan in 2015.

Cameron will be arraigned at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 in Detroit. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on the charges. If convicted, Cameron faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud and two years in prison for identity theft.

Cameron had participated with others in bank fraud conspiracy that had involved traveling to Michigan to break into homes, and vehicles with the intent to obtain identification documents, financial transaction devices, and personal checks, according to the indictment.

After stealing these items, Cameron and the others would then go to the drive-thru lane of banks, present identification posing as the victims in order to obtain cash from the bank.

Lemisch said the indictment serves as a reminder to people to be extra careful.

“Given the random nature of this crime, and especially during the holiday season, our community needs to be careful to lock doors and to not let purses and bags be viewable through a car window,” Lemisch said.

Image Credit Shutterstock

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The Real Threat Of Identity Theft Is In Your Medical Records, Not Credit Cards

Saturday, December 16th, 2017



The 2017 holiday season has been complicated by data breaches that have plagued consumers all year long, such as the massive Equifax hack. As a result, consumers must worry about fraud and the misuse of our financial information during a time of increased financial transactions, tight budgets and heightened stresses. 

In 2016, there were 3 million consumer credit card complaints, 42% of them fraud-related and 13% connected to identity theft. A huge number of incidents to be sure, with nearly 1% of the total U.S. population having such an issue during the year.

However, there’s a much greater threat to our personal data that few are thinking about at all. That threat is the theft and sale of our health records on the black market, a thriving business with “dark web” online stores that don’t look much different from an Amazon marketplace. In fact, there were nine times more medical than financial records breached in 2016 — 27 million — representing nearly 10% of the U.S. population.

As a former medical student and a co-founder of Protenus, a health data analytics firm that detects and prevents health data breaches, I have seen the devastating aftermath these incidents can have on affected patients.  My co-founder and I are passionate about tackling this challenge in health data security and ensuring that every single access line to health data is appropriately vetted and evaluated for clinical or administrative necessity.

But why are medical records so attractive? Well, it turns out that there’s a metaphorical holiday feast of enticing data served up in your average health record. Family history, demographic data, insurance information, medications, etc. means there’s enough information to completely steal an individual’s identity and commit medication fraud, financial fraud, insurance fraud and a wide array of other crimes. When this very private, unchangeable information gets into the wrong hands, devastation can ensue.

In addition, in the case of any sensitive patient diagnoses like HIV, a history of plastic surgery or behavioral health challenges, medical blackmail remains a tempting option, with recent instances of hackers compromising a plastic surgery clinic as a terrifying recent reminder of this vulnerability.

As a result of this illicit versatility, medical records fetch quite a bit on the black market. While debate remains open on exactly how much they are worth and I’ve heard many different estimates from experts I trust, public estimates have put the resale value of a medical record up to $100 each, depending on how comprehensive it is and what type of patient it belongs to. The bottom line is these records can add up to real money, allowing bad actors to profit while wreaking havoc for the victims.

Complicating this further is that it’s also terrifyingly easy for health care employees to go “shopping” for your data with little oversight. Electronic health record systems are generally built so that anyone who works at a hospital can access nearly the entire record, meaning that doctors, nurses, techs, admins and anyone else entrusted with patient care has free reign to look at your information. While the vast majority of such personnel are hardworking and trustworthy, there are some bad actors, and the difficult circumstances can bring out the worst in people, especially those under financial pressure. With a few keystrokes, the down-on-their-luck medical professional could steal and sell thousands of dollars worth of electronic health records. Just imagine if you could Google anyone’s complete medical history — that’s how easy these systems are to use.

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Two men arrested in ID theft bust at Indian Trail dealership

Friday, December 15th, 2017

INDIAN TRAIL, NC – Two men were in the market for a new car Tuesday afternoon in Union County.

The only problem: they had stolen a South Carolina man’s identity, and were trying to use his information on their credit application.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said detectives were dispatched to Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Indian Trail around 4pm Tuesday, after the intended victim, James Adams, called to inform them that a credit check in his name had just been run at the Independence Boulevard dealer.

In cooperation with sheriff’s deputies, the dealership called the suspect and told him that his online credit application had been approved, and that he needed to come in to sign the paperwork.

When he did – he was taken into custody, along with another man waiting outside in a silver Range Rover.

Barrington Llewellyn, 26, was charged with Identity Theft and two counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. The sheriff’s office said he was the one who came inside to sign the papers, and produced a fake South Carolina ID with the victim’s information but had his own photograph. He remains in custody and is due in court December 14, 2017.

Antoine Miller, 34, was the man who waited outside; he was charged with Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. He has been released.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public of a few tips when it comes to credit checks and staying financially savvy, something they believe helped the victim in this case come out on top:

1. Keep constant check on your credit

2. Sign up for free credit report apps, like Credit Karma

3. Ask about ID theft notification services, in case fraudulent activtity is suspected, you can be instantly alerted

4. Be aware of credit account status, history and activity

5. If you suspect fraud, contact police right away

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Alleged ID thief returns to the scene of the crime

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Posted: Dec 13 2017 05:32PM EST

Video Posted: Dec 14 2017 10:31PM EST

Updated: Dec 14 2017 11:05PM EST


Tiffany Snadon is charged with Identity Theft and Altering Identification with Government Logo. She’s accused of stealing the identity of a patient at a doctor’s office where she worked.

– Imagine one patient’s disbelief when police said the person who stole her identity worked at the doctor’s office where she was treated.

Now imagine the patient’s disbelief when the suspect bonded out of jail and went right back to work at that same doctor’s office.

We trust our medical providers to protect our personal information. But what happens when the person in trouble, is the one standing in the way of you alerting her bosses?

“I think I’ll be looking for another chiropractor,” promised Tiffani Cox.

We met her outside the Atlanta Sports and Injury Center for Rehab in Stockbridge.

“I just have no idea how deep it goes,” she worried.

According to a Henry County police report, Tiffani Cox got a surprise letter from a bill collector last month, claiming she had stiffed an apartment complex out of $4763. Tiffani had never lived there. But police determined a different Tiffany had. Tiffany Snadon, the receptionist for the chiropractic clinic. The apartment complex is right next door.

“Based on her working here at this office, and I’m going to this office, I put two and two together,” Tiffani Cox explained. “It was pretty easy from there. The officer arrested her that same evening.”

The report said someone had forged a copy of Tiffani Cox’ driver’s license by adding Tiffany Snadon’s picture and also using Tiffani Cox’s birth date and social security number to apply for that apartment lease. Tiffany with a Y was also accused of opening a Georgia Power account by pretending to be Tiffani with an I.
For the chiropractor receptionist, it all spelled big trouble.

But it gets even stranger. According to the report, when police went to interview Tiffany Snadon at work, she met the detective at the door. She asked if they could talk outside because “she didn’t want her bosses to think anything bad about her.” They went straight to the police precinct where she was ultimately charged with identity theft and altering government identification. Police never stepped inside the doctor’s office.

“She bonded out the next morning,” victim Tiffani Cox explained. “She was right back at work. And to my knowledge, the doctors have no idea.”

Tiffani tried calling to warn the doctors but couldn’t get through. She says the other Tiffany kept answering the phone. After all, that is her job.
So when the receptionist left for lunch, we did ours, hoping to get answers to our questions.

“Just wondering why you’re still working here when you were charged with identity theft for something that happened here.”

“Oh, I don’t want to talk about it” she responded. “I don’t think it happened here.”

“Well, you’re accused of stealing a patient’s identity. Do the doctors know you did that? Just answer a few questions before you go Tiffany. Do they know the truth here?”

But Tiffany with a Y chose to drive away in her BMW. Seriously not OK for Tiffani with an I.

“Something needs to be done,” fumed Tiffani Cox. “The people in this nice area of Henry County need to know that she has access to our records. She’s using them to her advantage.”

Neither doctor responded to our requests for comment. We checked a few days later during regular business hours and didn’t see that BMW parked outside the office.

Henry County police say they have no reason to believe other patients had their identities stolen, calling this an “isolated incident.”

Tiffany Snadon remains free on bond.


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