Writer Shows That ID Theft Is Just Keystrokes Away


A few days ago, Joe Light of the Boston Globe called a 37-year-old woman in Hawaii on her unlisted cellphone to say that he had her Social Security number, Visa card number, bank account and personal identification numbers, as well as her eBay account name and password. Light wrote, “If I chose, not only could I drain her bank account and rack up charges on the Visa, but with her Social Security number, I could probably open new credit cards — maybe even a mortgage — long before she discovered a problem.”

Light continued, “I received the information during an interview with someone who goes by the online nickname Bart Maza. He said he is an 18-year-old high school dropout in Russia. In total, he gave me the data of 17 people. I’d written several articles about identity theft for the Globe, but this was the first time I attempted to directly contact an apparent identity thief. Although I had spoken to many law enforcement officials, private security investigators, victims, and consumer advocates about the issue, I decided to go to the source to truly understand how the identity theft supply chain operates…I did learn that becoming an identity thief is frighteningly simple.”

Link: http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2005/09/25/stealing_your_id_can_be_as_easy_as_abc/

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