Sunday, January 28, 2007

How to Rob a Bank (with Identity Theft not a gun)!

I hope all of you saw the CNN special "How to Rob a Bank" a show that " ... takes a look at how thieves exploit stolen identities to bilk banks and cheat credit card companies."

I tuned in to "learn more about the blueprint of modern-day bank robberies."

The program was frightening and also enfuriating!

Frightening because listen to what on Id theft said on the show -
  • "Jason Michael Carpenter, a convicted identity thief who is serving 17-and-a-half years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and fraud in connection with access devices, says stealing identities was fun and "incredibly easy."
Fun and easy!? What the hell is this a video game?

Cnn asked: ... "Where did you figure out how it all works -- in chat rooms?"
  • CARPENTER answers: "Pretty much in chat rooms and just reading it. Since I've ... always been around computers, (the) computer comes naturally to me. ... You'd be surprised the amount of credit card information that is actually circulated around the Internet. And once you get a hold of it, you just figure out how can you use it, if you want to. ..."
The show revealed that a lot of Nigerians in the Houston, Texas area are involved in ID theft. What a surprise to those of us who have been receiving the "Nigerian Scam" letters "Dear Sir: I am the daughter of Abasanjo Ubatge the former banking minister of Nigeria. I have a trust fund my late father left me in the USA and I need your help to release these funds..." etc., etc.

The CNN site has some excellent material. I only hope they put up and leave up their special so everyone in the US can see it. The slide show and other special stories about the cases documented in the special are good reading.

It should be required viewing with a big quiz at the end for every person in law enforcement, government, education, health care, insurance, banking, and business. YOU are the ones who can put a crimp in ID theft. Your stupidity and lack of respnsibility has brought us to this point.

This week my friend was required to give her Social Security number three times on the phone! Mandatory! No SS # no blood exam, no credit card, and one more i cannot mention. Three times in one week!

This must change.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

(TJ) Maxx Identity Data Loss!

Well, here we go again!

  • "Hackers cracked into The TJX Cos. Inc.’s computer system, stealing customer credit card, debit card, checking and driver’s license information in a deep data breach that lasted from mid-May to December. The hack involved the portion of TJX’s computer network that has private data from customers at its T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and A.J. Wright stores and possibly Bob’s Stores in the United States, its Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada and possibly its T.K. Maxx stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland."

Apparently when the company discovered the intrusion TJX notified the U.S. Department of Justice, Secret Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The information I read said that law enforcement officials advised TJX not to disclose the breach. A spokesman for the Massachusetts Bankers Association, said the banks will have to pay the bill for the TJX breach.

TJX said it hired General Dynamics Corp. and IBM Corp. to monitor and evaluate the intrusion and identify the affected information. "The companies have helped TJX secure and upgrade its computer systems."

Yeah, after the horses left the barn and ran away they decided to close and lock the barn!

The CEO of the company Mr. Cammarata said “We believe customers should feel safe shopping in our stores.”

Sure, .... just use cash!

This is just one more example of major corporations sloppy behavior with sensitive information of their customers.

Why is this happening so frequently? Share your views on this blog please.

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