Report on the high identity theft rate in DC
There is a new report that describes that the District of Columbia is the area with the most ID theft and fraud in the United States. more...
Russian hackers take lead in cybercrime
Russian-speaking hackers earned an estimated $4.5 billion globally using various online criminal tactics and are thus responsible for 36% of the estimated total of $12.5 billion earned globally by cybercriminals in 2011, Russian security analyst firm Group-IB said in a report published on Tuesday.
In the report, Group-IB differentiates between cybercriminals living in Russia and Russian-speaking cybercriminals, who include citizens of the countries of the former Soviet Union and other countries. In the 28-page report the researchers estimate that the total share of the Russian cybercrime market alone doubled to $2.3 billion, while the whole Russian-speaking segment of the global cybercrime market also almost doubled, to $4.5 billion. The researchers noted that the Russian-speaking segment of the global cybercrime market traditionally encompasses twice the amount of the Russian segment.
The Group-IB analysts highlighted general trends in the development of online crimes in 2011. The market was embraced by traditional organized crime groups that are trying to control the entire theft process, which led to the merging of two criminal worlds and a refocusing of the Russian mafia's traditional emphasis on crimes such as drug and arms trafficking to cybercrimes, according to the report. This could lead to "an explosive increase of attacks" on the financial sector, the researchers warned. Online banking fraud is one of the fastest growing segments of cybercrime, with a big increase in 2011, Group-IB said.
Tacoma woman sentenced for ID theft
A Tacoma woman who victimized more than a dozen visitors to Mount Rainier National Park, was sentenced to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and $7,034 in restitution for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said 25-year-old Pamela Williams and co-defendant Matthew Mortinson broke into vehicles parked at various trailheads, stealing computers, credit cards and other valuables.
Man found with 38 credit cards convicted of ID theft
A man who pleaded guilty in January to aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud was sentenced Monday to 75 months in federal prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Sharif John Reid, 37, of League City, also must pay $157,501 in restitution related to his attempts to purchase Apple iPads and iPhones at the Memorial City Apple store on Aug. 7.
He was accused of using unauthorized credit card numbers to buy $200,000 in Apple products in Louisiana and Texas.
Authorities found 38 credit cards in Reid’s possession that were stolen or obtained by Reid with the intent to defraud, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
NASA Data Breach Discovered by Hackers
Members of two hacker collectives, Team r00tw0rm and Team inj3ct0r, identified an SQL injection vulnerability on one of the subdomains owned by NASA and hosted on the domainnasa.gov. By leveraging the security hole, the hackers obtained a 6 gigabyte database, but refused to disclose the name of the flawed subdomain to give the agency time to patch it up.
A sample of the database reveals information such as usernames, email addresses, names, IDs, login dates, passwords, and other data.“Complete Database is in GB’s, well we aren’t leaking it. We may keep all parts in our private home! Yet only little bit dump or few columns data is released just to inform NASA that being National Aeronautics and Space Administration you must also keep your servers up to date!”the hackers said.
They claim they informed NASA a few days ago, but since the organization failed to respond, they leaked part of the database to attract the agency’s attention.
More from ITN
Business Identity Theft A Growing Concern
You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.
Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.
"Business identity theft is incredibly underreported," says Hugh Thompson, who teaches at Columbia University and chairs an annual conference on security. No federal or state statistics track the problem. And Thompson says few victims are willing to report it.
"There's a big stigma attached with it," he says. "Imagine you're a company trying to portray an image of being solid and reliable out to your customers. It's not something that you want to readily admit to."
Business identity theft takes many forms. Posing as a look-alike or sound-alike business to lure customers is one of them. But in many cases, shady operators go after information to tap into business' credit and reputation. They change a business's contact information, for example, then use it to obtain credit cards or order goods, skipping town before bills arrive.
More from NPR
Hacking group releases 75,000 names of Stratfor subscribers
Hackers released another batch of data on Thursday pilfered from Stratfor Global Intelligence, a widely used research and analysis company whose website was attacked last weekend. The data purports to be the names and credit-card numbers of people who have purchased research from Stratfor plus hundreds of thousands of user names and e-mail addresses used to register with the website.
The hackers, believed to be part of the Anonymous movement, described the data on Pastebin, then provided several links to websites hosting the information. They noted that some 50,000 of the e-mail addresses released end in ".mil" or ".gov." The data comprises 75,000 names, credit card numbers and MD5 hashes, or cryptographic representations, of passwords for people who have paid Stratfor for research.
The group also said the data contains 860,000 user names, e-mail addresses and MD5 hashes for passwords for anyone who has registered on Stratfor's website.
From IDG News Service
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Launches Online Complaint Center
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) is proud to announce the launch of an interactive online complaint center designed to serve as a clearinghouse for consumer privacy complaints. This builds upon our 19-year history of troubleshooting consumers’ complaints and questions regarding a wide variety of information privacy issues, including background checks, debt collection, data breaches, financial information, and online data brokers. The PRC's staff will review and respond to every complaint, providing individuals with information and strategies to address their problem.
The impetus for the development of the online complaint center was the 2009 KnowPrivacy study, conducted by graduate students in the Masters program at the UC-Berkeley School of Information as well as the Law School at UC-Berkeley. The study found that consumers are concerned about data collection and want greater control over their personal information, but don't know whom to complain to. This presents a significant challenge given the important role that consumer complaints can play regarding the shaping of public policy.
The new online complaint center acts as a clearinghouse for privacy-related complaints by offering consumers a central point of contact. Complaints submitted to the PRC will be forwarded upon the consumer’s request to the appropriate governing body. Further, by acting as a magnet for privacy complaints, our goals are to:
- Empower Consumers. There are many avenues for consumers to voice complaints, but few that actually respond with personalized information. The PRC's staff will review and respond to every complaint, providing individuals with information and strategies to address their problem. We also offer individuals the opportunity to escalate the complaint to the media, public authorities, and, if appropriate, attorneys.
- Educate the Public Policy Process. As an education and advocacy organization, the PRC understands the important role consumer complaints play in fostering regulatory and legislative change. The online complaint center will enable us to identify trends and publish reports on key privacy-related issues that are of concern to individuals. By sharing this information with the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators at the state and federal level, public authorities can gain a richer understanding of the consumer privacy landscape.
The online complaint center, available at www.privacyrights.org/complaint, simplifies the complaint process into four main sections:
- Who are you? Consumers can choose to remain anonymous or provide their name and contact information. The only information we require is the consumer's email address and state so that we can properly respond to the complaint. Contact information will not be shared unless the individual chooses to share the complaint with government agencies, lawyers or the media.
- Whom/what are you complaining about? We ask the consumer to identify whom/what the complaint is about: a company or organization, a government agency or a person. If the complaint is about a company or organization, the site has an interactive “smart” feature that can auto-fill company information.
- What is your complaint? Consumers have the ability to describe their complaint in detail, attach supporting documents and add "tags" to categorize the complaint.
- Review and submit your complaint. Before submitting the complaint, consumers have an opportunity to review the entire complaint and make any necessary changes. There is also an option to print or email a copy of the complaint.
The PRC staff review all complaints and email a personalized response to the consumer within one to two business days. If the individual chooses to share the complaint with government agencies, we forward the complaint to the appropriate governing body.
The online complaint center also offers a registration feature. Those users who wish to register can login at anytime to update contact information, access previously submitted complaints, see staff responses to each complaint, and add new information to a complaint. Registration is completely optional and can be pseudonymous.
We invite you to celebrate a new year for privacy by exploring the online complaint center and sharing the site with your friends and family. Any feedback can be emailed to email@example.com.
What to Do if You Got Taken by 12 Daily Pro Scam
Do you have money in 12 Daily Pro (or StormPay) and don’t know what to do? Go here: Truston Identity Theft Blog.
Identity theft victim left with $1 million liability
Identity theft claiming more and more victims
For Audra Schmierer, it began last January with a letter from the Internal Revenue Service claiming she owed $15,000 in back taxes on income earned in 2003.
Schmierer, 32, thought a mistake had been made. She hadn't worked since giving birth to her son in 2000. The next day, however, another letter arrived from the IRS — this one stating she owed more than $32,000 in back taxes from 2002. And so began a long nightmare that eventually saw the IRS accusing Schmierer of owing $1 million in back taxes on income she never earned.
Inside Bay Area
Boston Man Charged With Ebay Identity Theft Scheme
Massachusetts authorities have made an arrest in a hacking incident that resulted in dozens of eBay customers having their credit card data stolen
H&R Block's Blunders Put Consumers at Risk of ID Theft
Financial giant H&R Block's TaxCut software is designed to help users avoid nasty surprises when calculating their taxes. But many past and present customers of Block were surprised in a different way recently, as they received unsolicited copies of TaxCut in packages that prominently displayed their Social Security number (SSN) on the outside.
The recipient's SSN is embedded in a string of numbers printed on the shipping label, and many confused individuals had received a notice about the error long before they received the package. Some haven't received any package at all.
Fashion model charged with identity theft
SAUGUS, Calif. (AP) — Fashion model Beverly Peele has been charged with identity theft for allegedly buying about $10,000 worth of housewares, appliances and furniture with someone else's credit card numbers.
Data breach at Ford Motor Company--70,000 employees
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A computer with files that have the names and Social Security numbers of approximately 70,000 current and former employees of Ford Motor Company was stolen, the company reported.
An investigation into the theft -- which is believed to have occurred in late November -- is ongoing, and Ford has notified the FBI, Secret Service and Federal Identity Theft Task Force.
Hackers Break Into Computer-Security Firm's Customer Database
Guidance Software -- the leading provider of software used to diagnose hacker break-ins -- has itself been hacked, resulting in the exposure of financial and personal data connected to thousands of law enforcement officials and network-security professionals.
Guidance alerted customers to the incident in a letter sent last week, saying it discovered on Dec. 7 that hackers had broken into a company database and made off with approximately 3,800 customer credit card numbers. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company said the incident occurred sometime in November and that it is working with the U.S. Secret Service on a more detailed investigation.
USATODAY.com - Meth addicts' other habit: Online theft
Identity theft has fast become the crime of preference among meth users for three reasons: It is non-violent, criminal penalties for first-time offenders are light — usually a few days or weeks in jail — and the use of computers and the Internet offers crooks anonymity and speed with which to work. Meth is a cheap, highly addictive street derivative of amphetamine pills; it turns users into automatons willing to take on risky, street-level crime.
Jacksonville Beach man recruited ex-cons for identity-theft scams
I agree that sometimes ID theft is over-hyped. Usually by “bottom feeders” trying to prey on our fears. But for those who poo-poo ID theft (I’m regualrly shocked by how many people laugh it off), check out this real world story on how criminals are latching on to this as “the” crime to get into.
A man who used a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Web site to recruit white-collar criminals for his identity-theft scams was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.
from Dateline Alabama
Stolen Boeing laptop held ID data on 161,000 people
Thousands of Boeing workers got some worrisome news Friday to end their workweek.
The company said personal information on 161,000 current and former employees was put at risk of exposure with the theft of a laptop computer belonging to a Boeing human-resources employee.
The exposed information includes names, Social Security numbers and, for some, birth dates, bank names and account numbers. Also on the stolen computer are some employees' home addresses and bank-account routing numbers for direct-deposit paychecks.
from SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Couple has home stolen via ID theft
What if you came home exhausted from an out-of-town trip, only to find someone changed the locks on your house and you couldn't get in? What if you discovered there was a stranger in your home and when confronted said he was the owner and you were trespassing?
That very scenario played out for James and Paula Cook in the middle of June when they returned to their home in the 2200 block of Fountain Glen Lane in the western Frisco subdivision of West Falls Village.
According to Frisco Police accounts of the case, the Cooks found two men in their home June 13. One has since been identified as Carlos Ramirez, a resident of The Colony. Ramirez said he was the owner of the home and another man said he made a $12,000 down payment on it, according to police information officer Sgt. Gina McFarlin.
700 have ID stolen; 500,000 vulnerable
At least 700 people had their identities stolen during a yearlong scam by con artists who had signed up as clients of data-broker ChoicePoint Inc., the Los Angeles task force in charge of the criminal investigation confirmed on Friday.
When word first emerged this week that still unknown scammers had illegally obtained detailed dossiers on 35,000 people by posing as legitimate customers of ChoicePoint, the company portrayed it as a relatively minor criminal case, limited to California. But by week's end, it was shaping up to be a full-blown scandal with as many as a half million people nationwide potentially vulnerable to identity theft.
Web scam victimizes Alaskans
'NIGERIAN' SCHEME: Shysters ask for help cashing fake money orders. Investigators say that a new version of an old scam has appeared in Alaska and are warning people not to fall for the latest incarnation of the venerable "Nigerian" Internet money scheme,
From Anchorage Daily News
Identity Theft Looms Over UNC with Lost Hard Drive
(PRWEB) January 22, 2005 -- More than 15,500 students and staff at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) may be in jeopardy of identity theft after a university computer hard drive containing confidential personal and financial information was announced to be missing by UNC President Kay Norton on Thursday, Jan 20 2005.
Man Sentenced in Theft of Patient's Identity
SEATTLE -- A technician at a cancer center was sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing the identity of a gravely ill patient, who spent months trying to clear his name while the disease ravaged his body.
The technician, Richard W. Gibson, 42, is the first person in the nation sentenced under a new law designed to protect patient privacy, federal prosecutors said Friday. Gibson will be required to pay at least $15,000 in restitution, including reimbursing patient Eric Drew for the time and money he spent trying to clear his name.
Wells Fargo customer data stolen again
For the third time in a year, Wells Fargo & Co. has reported computers containing customer personal data have been stolen from a third-party vendor.
This time the $422 billion financial services giant sent letters to thousands of mortgage and student loan customers saying four computers were stolen last month from Atlanta-based Regulus Integrated Solutions LLC, which prints loan statements for a number of big banks. Wells Fargo did not say how many of its 4.9 million mortgage and almost 900,000 student loan customers were at risk. Though no passwords or PINs were on the machines, the stolen computers did hold customer names, addresses, social security numbers and account numbers, according to the Associated Press.
A spokeswoman said there were no reports of misuse and that the company was providing its free credit-monitoring service to those who enrolled by March 31, 2005.
Georgia boy accused of complex identity theft scam
Authorities say teen charged thousands, equipped own police car
HAPEVILLE, Ga. – A 15-year-old boy racked up thousands of dollars in charges and built his own police car through an elaborate identity theft scam that took credit card numbers from at least a dozen people, authorities said.
Identity-theft threat linked to a virus
Students' private information not likely stolen, university officials say, because network access was brief
CAL POLY - A computer virus has put 652 Cal Poly students in jeopardy of becoming victims of identity theft.
from San Luis Obispo Tribune
Identities Stolen in Seconds
PAUSING in the foyer of a comfortable suburban home two days before Halloween in 2002, Kevin Barrows, a special agent with the F.B.I., could not bring himself to open the front door. He and a team of agents had just spent several hours searching every room in the house, in New Rochelle, N.Y., but they were leaving empty-handed. Months of investigating had led Mr. Barrows to believe that someone was orchestrating a huge fraud from the house, yet he had not found a single scrap of evidence.
from the Ocala Star-Banner
Dentists accused in alleged fraud
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed criminal complaints against 20 dentists throughout the state, charging them with defrauding the state Medi-Cal System of $4.5 million; health benefits and workers' compensation fraud; conspiracy; grand theft; child abuse; elder abuse; assault and intentional infliction of great bodily injury.
N.H. Tips Lead To Identity Theft Suspect
Man Accused Of Stealing Credit Cards From Lockers
NEWPORT, N.H. -- A former Plymouth man is in custody after a police investigation into credit card thefts from fitness centers across New England.
Massachusetts police arrested Troy Gay, 38, on Sept. 10, largely based on tips from two New Hampshire fitness centers. Police say they believe Gay may have used stolen credit cards to buy more than $250,000 in merchandise.
Tangled in a case of identity theft
Lawsuits and newspaper stories aren't doing Stancy Nesby any good--she keeps getting arrested.
The 28-year-old Nesby sued San Francisco officials after she was mistakenly detained, arrested or jailed six times over 15 months, based on arrest warrants issued in the city. A judge signed the warrants after another woman gave Nesby's name when she was arrested for cocaine possession, then failed to show up in court.
Man gets prison for child pornography, ID theft [HILLSBORO,OR]
Richard Earl Bighouse bought or traded the porn, DMV discs with driver data and stolen credit cards
HILLSBORO -- Calling him a danger to the community for dealing in child pornography and stealing hundreds of identities, a Washington County judge on Wednesday sentenced Richard Earl Bighouse to more than 20 years in prison.
from the Oregonian
ID theft crime news
Columbia man charged with multiple counts of identity theft [Columbia,SC]
Nicholson is charged with 11 counts of identity theft and seven counts of financial transaction credit card fraud. ... from WIS-TV
Deputies link 2 to identity theft operation [Portland,OR]
...Investigators say they learned later that Brandt worked with a 33-year-old Milwaukie woman in an identity theft ring, Manley said. ... from the Oregonian
FAKE ID Ring Suspects Indicted On Identity Theft Charges [Cleveland,OH]
Police say they busted up a fake ID ring in which fake driver's licenses were produced and used in crimes that included identity theft and check fraud ... from NewsNet5.com
3 charged in identity theft scheme targeting military [Long Island,NY]
JERSEY CITY, NJ -- A civilian Army employee is facing criminal charges after authorities said he used Department of Defense information to help others run up ...
DEPARTMENT deluged by identity-theft cases [Pasadena, CA]
PASADENA -- The Police Department has been so overwhelmed by reports of identity theft that detectives have not even responded to many victims who have filed ...
from Pasadena Star-News
Police say man ran identity theft scam from jail [Portland, OR]
MEDFORD — Police in Southern Oregon say a man convicted of identity theft there is at it again — this time from prison.
Authorities said Eric Ziegler had gotten access to Social Security numbers, victims' names and birth dates from police reports provided by his defense attorney.
Then, telephone services were set up at the homes of Ziegler's friends and relatives using other people's personal information. Ziegler placed collect calls to the accounts from Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, investigators said. He also gave other prisoners access to the telephone numbers, said Detective Colin Fagan of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
from Corvallis Gazette Times
Huntsville Police Nab Suspected Identity Theft Artist [Huntsville,AL]
Huntsville police believe they've cracked a major identity theft ring. They've arrested 43-year-old Craig Wurzbacher of Hoover.
Lakers draft pick indicted on identity theft, embezzlement charges [PROVIDENCE, R.I.]
Marcus Douthit, a second-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers out of Providence College, was charged on Thursday with taking part in a wide-ranging identity theft and embezzlement scam and pocketing several thousand dollars.
The 125-count indictment unsealed by a statewide grand jury accuses Douthit with allegedly participating in a phony car accident as part of a scheme to obtain money from insurance companies, said Michael Healey, spokesman for the state attorney general office.
from Long Beach Press-Telegram
Deputy makes identity theft arrest in Valley Center [Escondido,CA]
VALLEY CENTER - A patrol deputy arrested a North County man Friday on suspicion of identity theft after catching him with a briefcase of other people's checks and driver's licenses, authorities said.
Deputy Alvin Vasquez was investigating a residential burglary in Valley Center when another resident of the neighborhood, 44-year-old Mark Allen Sloop, showed up, sheriff's public information officer Chris Saunders said.
from North County Times
Yucca Valley man arrested in identity theft investigation [YUCCA VALLEY, CA]
Sheriff's detectives have arrested a Yucca Valley man believed to be responsible for over 50 cases of identity theft.
San Bernardino County sheriff's detective Sergeant John Ginter says the stolen identities were used to open charge accounts and generate wire transfers in excess of 50-thousand dollars.
Ginter says a three-month investigation into identity thefts in the Morongo Basin and several other states led detectives to identify Frank Lockman Junior of Yucca Valley as a the suspect.
Man Sentenced In $1 Million Identity Theft [XENIA, Ohio]
A suburban Columbus man has been sentenced to eight years in prison in an identity-theft ring that cost victims nearly $1 million.
Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Jeff Hunter said Gregory Vonhoupe, 53, of Dublin pleaded no contest to 50 of the original 192 counts against him, including conspiracy, identity fraud and forgery.
FORMER UNC-TV Employee Charged With Identity Theft [RALEIGH, N.C.]
A woman who worked for University of North Carolina Television is accused of stealing pledge drive donors' credit card numbers and going on a spending spree.
Irene Van Dyke was one of dozens of donors who had credit card information stolen after making a $100 donation to UNC-TV. She later found that her June credit card statement had an unfamiliar charge for $622.
Adaeze Okeke, 22, was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York Friday as she boarded a flight to Raleigh. Okeke, who worked as an office temp for UNC-TV earlier this year, was hired to enter credit card information from pledge sheets. Police say she was carrying some of the sheets at the time of her arrest.
Sister of U of Memphis basketball player guilty [Memphis,TN]
The sister of a University of Memphis basketball player has drawn six months in a federal halfway house for taking part in an identity theft ring.
Basketball player Clyde Wade was acquitted of charges that he, too, was part of the ring.
Wade and his sister, Pamela Morton, were among nine defendants charged last year with using identify theft to steal from department store credit-card accounts.
Calif. Clinic Accused of Surgery Scam [SANTA ANA, Calif.]
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Operators of a Los Angeles-area clinic paid thousands of people to undergo risky, unnecessary surgeries as part of a nationwide insurance fraud scheme, authorities said Wednesday.
Some 5,000 patients were recruited from across the country and flown to California, where they underwent surgeries that were billed at excessive amounts to their insurance companies, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
FULL STORY from Yahoo! [pop up]
Duped by a check cashing scam
Too good to be true: Mother of three sued after winning $13,000 on Internet
RACINE, WI - Jaclyn Swenson, 26, was trying to figure out where she was going to get money for diapers when the doorbell rang. A man from FedEx handed over an envelope. Inside was another envelope, made of brown paper, and inside that envelope was a certified check for $13,000. Swenson was shocked. She knew she'd won a contest on the Internet, but she never believed the money would really arrive. Swenson says she called family, banks, the Racine Police and the Better Business Bureau to get advice about the unexpected windfall. She recalled what she learned: "Everyone says a cashier's check means the money's already there." The $13,000 check has been trouble ever since it showed up. It has gotten her sued by her credit union, it had her afraid to leave the house, and it has her worried she'll somehow lose her children.
from Journal Times
E. Orange man guilty in identity theft scam [Easton,PA]
An East Orange man has pleaded guilty to charges that he operated an extensive credit and identity theft operation that affected dozens of people throughout North Jersey, authorities announced yesterday.
In entering his guilty plea Friday before Superior Court Judge John Triarsi in Elizabeth, William E. Dawkins, 21, of Schuyler Terrace, described how he used the names, addresses and Social Security numbers he obtained in the mail, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
from The Express Times
Jeannette Man Sentenced For Bogus Check, Identity Theft Schemes [Pittsburgh,PA]
GREENSBURG, Pa. -- A Westmoreland County man who participated in bogus check and identity theft schemes has been sentenced to five years in prison. Michael Hanson of Jeannette will also spend three years on supervised release.
from Pittsburgh Channel.com
Former teacher charged with felony counts in identity theft [Biloxi,MS]
GULFPORT, Miss. - A former Harrison Central High School teacher has been charged with establishing fraudulent credit card accounts and forging checks.
Kelly Ann Brewer, 42, of Saucier, turned herself into authorities Monday after a joint investigation between the Harrison County Sheriff's Department and the United States Postal Service.
Brewer faces two counts of credit card fraud, two counts of uttering forgery and two counts of identity theft.
from Biloxi Sun Herald
President signs Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act
This new law, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, is a good thing for everyone. But, as Linda Foley of the ID Theft Resource Center tells us, the stiffer penalties are only for those prosecuted under federal law. The individual states now need to enact stiffer penalties as well. And this will hopefully also give state and local police and prosecuters more incentive to treat identity theft more seriously and prosecute criminals more aggressively. --Scamsafe Editor
President Bush signed a measure yesterday that stiffens penalties for identity theft and makes it a felony to help terrorists obtain false identification.
The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act provides up to two years in prison for anyone stealing or distributing someone else's personal information, and up to five years for anyone committing identity theft in conjunction with a terrorist act.
Signing of the bill, sponsored by Rep. John Carter, Texas Republican, comes after a five-year period in which 27 million Americans had some form of personal information stolen from them, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
"The crime of identity theft undermines the basic trust on which our economy depends," Mr. Bush said. "Identity theft harms not only its direct victims, but also many businesses and customers whose confidence is shaken."
from Washington Times
Heavyweight Boxing Champion Sentenced to Prison for ID Theft [Las Vegas, NV]
LAS VEGAS - Former Olympic heavyweight boxing champion Henry Tillman was sentenced Monday to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal identity theft charges.
Tillman, 43, of Los Angeles, was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison, said Daniel Bogden, U.S. attorney for Nevada.
Tillman, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, was arrested Jan. 6 by Las Vegas police. He was charged with fraudulent possession, transfer and use of documents.
Identity Theft Suspect In Jail [Austin,TX]
Identity theft hit one particular part of Travis County hard. Investigators say the source was stolen mail.
Austin Police have arrested one woman in numerous cases. Detectives say Sandra Madrid has made a career of stealing mail and identities from Austinites.
Police believe Madrid has been targeting a certain zip code in Austin for about four months now.