Sunday, November 09, 2008

Passport Identity Theft? NO comment!

Click for full State Department page on this.

Washington, D.C., October 31, 2008 - The U.S. State Department has notified several hundred citizens awaiting passports that their personal information may have been compromised, warning them that they could be the victims of credit or identity theft.

"To date, we have notified 383 individuals whose records may have been assessed... for illicit purposes," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters during a daily briefing. "To the best of our knowledge, most of these individuals have not experienced identity theft. Law enforcement officials are still investigating this case, so... I can't say that 383 is going to be the final number. There may be - along the way, we find that there are more people." AHN News

The Washington Times reported how this may have happened.

"The Washington Times reported in April that a State Department employee who was not identified in documents filed in U.S. District Court was implicated in a credit-card fraud scheme after 24-year-old Leiutenant Quarles Harris Jr. told federal authorities he obtained "passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State."

The investigation began after police on March 25 pulled over Mr. Harris in Southeast on suspicion that the windows of his vehicle were tinted too darkly.

Upon questioning by agents from the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Service and State Department, Mr. Harris "admitted he obtained the passport information" from a State Department employee, court documents say.

Mr. Harris also said the fraud ring submitted credit-card applications using the names and "identifying information" of the persons listed on the passport applications, and that a Postal Service employee then would intercept the cards before they were delivered to residences.



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