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2-Year ID Theft Investigation Yields 86 Arrests; 25 More Sought

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the are-these-the-jerks-who-stole-mine? dept.

Crime 154

angry tapir writes with this bit from TechWorld: "Prosecutors call it the biggest identity theft bust in U.S. history. 111 bank tellers, retail workers, waiters and alleged criminals were charged with running a credit-card-stealing organization that stole more than $US13 million in less than a year-and-a-half. 'This is by far the largest — and certainly among the most sophisticated — identity theft/credit card fraud cases that law enforcement has come across,' the Queens County District Attorney's office said in a statement announcing the arrests."

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This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657690)

The only way to make an honest buck in this economy is to steal it. The more crooked you are, the farther you'll go. Greed rules. Greed is good. (to paraphrase Gordon Gekko)

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657720)

Failed policies, like not arresting and torturing all the beaners?

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660332)

"'This is by far the largest — and certainly among the most sophisticated — identity theft/credit card fraud cases that law enforcement has come across,' the Queens County District Attorney's office said in a statement announcing the arrests.""

The people who can make the statement quoted, with a straight face, have never met the beaners referred to by AC. Face it, people - 20 MILLION illegal alien invaders, and at least half of them have forged papers for working in this country. Identity theft, on a massive scale!

I should have sold my identity to them years ago, though. Imagine - 50 people working in this country, all of them using my SSN. Crap - the Social Security administration would be sending me a rebate at the end of each year! I could retire!

Oh, wait. Some tools and fools will be along directly to explain to me how politically incorrect I am. Call me a racist. Blah, blah, blah. Screw all of you. I'm so racist that I listened to the conviction of a "Real American White guy" for killing an immigrant's grand daughter the other day. I was so outraged that the white guy didn't get the death penalty. I stopped to see the girl's father, to express my condolences again, and to tell him how outrageous it is that they white guy isn't going to get the needle. That's how racist I am.

The story? Read about the senseless murder, not of an anchor baby, but the anchor baby's adult daughter. (topix doesn't actually have the story, but links to multiple sources for the story - no one source bothered to get the entire story together in a coherent manner) http://www.topix.com/crime/horatio-ar [topix.com]

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (5, Funny)

tech4 (2467692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657752)

It's not stealing, it's just making a copy. The original person still has his/her identity left.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657808)

the mods have gone drunk with power!
keep posting!
they cant mod us all down!

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658206)

That's certainly true.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (3, Insightful)

zenthax (737879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658538)

Yup it's not stealing, well at least not from the person. Nobody stole any identities, but rather a good bit of money from banks and creditors. However somehow they have managed to convince everyone that it is not the banks problem. For a comical take on this point [youtube.com] Identity theft should not be an individuals problem but rather whatever institution that mistakenly allowed the transaction should be held responsible.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658504)

The only way to make an honest buck in this economy is to steal it.

Tell that to all the people holding jobs. Suprise suprise, the majority of people in this country actually have jobs where they earn livings.

Unless you intend to accuse 80+% of the country of being dishonest in their work?

Or did you really just want to inject an unrelated rant on politics into the discussion, for no good reason? If so, I hope the mods would use the correct mod of "offtopic", rather than marking a comment insightful when it offers 0 insight into the discussion at hand.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659256)

"the majority of people in this country actually have jobs where they earn livings." Well Put! If a developer of any speciality can't get a job it is not caused by either the government or state of the economy. The National unemployment rate is fluctuating around 8-9% but the unemployment rate for developers sits around 3-4%. This small group of unemployed is usually caused by people unwilling to re-locate. Re-location is certainly a valid reason for turning down a job but never the less it does contribute to the 3-4% rate of unemployment.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (3, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658540)

The only way to counter Identity thieves is to have really really shitty credit.

This is why I make my credit score low by being late paying credit bills, not paying other things, etc.
I have been sent to credit collectors a few times, I would pay a little then wait a year and pay a little... etc.
You want my identity? Fine... you have to work for my credit line... sucker!

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658626)

That is, quite possibly, the funniest thing I have read tonight. I actually snorted. Does this tactic actually work? (I'd be willing top try)

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658616)

Bush's failed policies? Wasn't it Clinton that gave China the most favored nation trade status? Where did all those jobs go? Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (1)

Rubinstien (6077) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659544)

Actually, no, MFN status for China had to be renewed annually, and was renewed annually for China by Carter (on his way out), Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton. Clinton campaigned that he was going to let MFN status lapse as leverage against China's human rights abuses. He ended up knuckling under to pressure from agricultural interests who did not want to suffer taking a hit to grain exports (estimated at about $3B in losses, and another $2B in retaliatory tariffs). He also became convinced (as Bush had argued) that China was more likely to make progress on the issue if the subject were treated separately from the subject of trade, and would respond poorly under threat of sanctions. Bush (Sr.) was a former ambassador to China and recognized widely as an expert on the Chinese, so he was probably right. He had the hardest time of any of the above Presidents in getting MFN status pushed through Congress, mostly due to the Tienanmen Square massacre. That's probably the only reason the topic was in the air when Clinton was campaigning, and he took heat from his own party (Pelosi, in particular) when he followed Bush's lead on the matter. Late in Clinton's second term, Congress granted PNTR (Permanent Normalized Trade Relations) status to China, and he signed it into law. This was somehow a prerequisite for China joining the World Trade Organization. At any rate, all members of WTO are supposed to grant MFN status to all other members. At the time, our exports to China had tripled during the previous decade, so it seemed to be in our best interest. Perhaps this latter move was what you are thinking of? If so, examine news articles from the time period and you will find that Newt Gingrich was instrumental in getting this through Congress. There's enough "blame" to butter both sides with, in this case.

Re:This is thanks to Bush's failed policies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37659872)

The US is no longer in any condition to dictate human rights abuses.

Identity "theft" (4, Funny)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657714)

It's not theft, if you still have the ability to use the identity. I just made a copy.

What, why are so mad at me?

Re:Identity "theft" (2)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657814)

yeah, but, no.

This argument is flawed. In the case of copying stuff on the internet, you just deny a business some hypothetical sales.

In the case of identity theft, a life got screwed over. It's not the same at all.

Not that I'm on the side of "a copy is not stealing". I just wanted to say that this particular comparison isn't correct.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

tech4 (2467692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657846)

The comparison is just fine. The original argument is that if you're just copying something, then it can't be stealing or theft because in those cases you actually lose the item. In identity theft you do not lose it, so according to pirates identity theft also is just harmless copying.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657964)

Sure. You can COPY my drivers licence at any stage. I have no problem with this, and it happens every time I rent a car. What I have a problem with is EMPTYING my bank accounts, or taking out LOANS in my name. Both induce a financial burden upon myself, and henceforth, is stealing. Whether it is you, or a third party committing the offence transitively, that is why it is called identity theft. Using someone's identity to fraudulently procure money, goods and services.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658322)

The problem here is they aren't stealing from YOU. They are defrauding somebody though. Convincing some company to hand them control of something. Usually it is physical and even that may not be stealing. A person or company was mislead rather. They still voluntarily handed over the goods even if it was based on false intel. That of course is the definition of fraud.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658390)

They are stealing the time and effort it will take me to fix things so that I buy that house, car or whatever........These semantics are kind of stupid.

Re:Identity "theft" (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658546)

I don't mind if they take out a loan in my name then default. That's theft from the bank. The problem is that the bank then illegally holds me responsible for theft. It's no different than if someone broke into a bank at night and sole the money and they decided that the cash removed belonged to you and then the bank steals your money to cover their losses. That's the real theft in identity theft.

If the financial institutions didn't hold the provably innocent party responsible, then identity theft wouldn't be an issue and the losses from it would drop.

Re:Identity "theft" (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658234)

My identity was stolen, so I have personal experience here. The thieves had my name, SSN, DOB, and address. They used it to open a credit card in my name. (Curiously, they had my mother's maiden name wrong yet Capital One still approved the online application.) They also requested rush delivery and changed the address on the card from my home to some other location. Unfortunately, for them, Capital One sent the card out BEFORE changing the address and it went to me. I was able to stop the fraud and lock down my credit, but I never found out who stole my personal info or how.

I was lucky. If the card had gone out how they hoped it had, they would have been able to activate it and run up a huge tab under my name. Then, when they didn't pay, the collection agencies would have come knocking down my door. My credit would have been ruined for years as I fixed the damage they did.

Yes, I would have had my credit but it would have been completely trashed.

To use a car analogy (since this *IS* Slashdot), identity theft is like "borrowing" someone's car at night and returning it with the windows smashed, two doors missing, dents all over, paint smeared all over the interior and three tires flat. Sure you have your car to use, but you aren't going to get much actual use out of it until you spend a lot of time and money restoring it. (And unlike the car analogy, you can't just ditch that car and get a new one.)

I'd say depriving someone of the credit that they earned by fraudulently gaining access via stolen personal information is "theft". This isn't a case of someone making a copy of your identity and it not affecting you. The results are real and can affect you for years to come.

Re:Identity "theft" (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658262)

That's not possible. All file sharers must accept that all copying (whether it has any real effects or not) is good or they're hypocrites (somehow).

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660086)

credit

they they earned

Wow.

"Fraud" is a better term for it than "theft". (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657862)

And fraud has been with us for a long, long time.

As the practices of the consumers have shifted (writing few checks, using less cash, increased credit/debit card use, on-line banking) the methods of fraud have shifted.

Unfortunately, the banks were able to also shift the "responsibility" for the fraud to the consumers.

If someone uses your identity to commit fraud then YOU are responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Even when YOU do not have any tools to PREVENT the fraud or even to be aware of it before the bank/store files a complaint against you.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657994)

Really, "identity theft" isn't all that bad. It's a big pain in the ass, and I hope that it doesn't happen to me again, but my life was definitely not screwed over. I had an annoying back and forth argument with Wal-Mart, over the fraudulent use of my debit card, culminating in me being forced to file a police report. I didn't consider a $50 charge on my debit card to be worth filing a police report, and the police didn't seem particularly happy to be burdened with the pointless paperwork, but I guess Wal-Mart wanted me to risk something (filing a false report), if I were going to try to weasel out of paying my bills. Beyond that, it was just a matter of cancelling everything and getting new cards sent. By federal law (USA), you're only liable for the first $50. The banks have to eat up any further losses. This is why they're all rolling out such advanced fraud protection programs, though they like to pretend they do it out of the love they feel for their customers.

Of course, I agree with you on copyright infringement. It's just hypothetical sales that have been lost. However, what annoys me is the hypocrisy of the linguistic distinction. Pirates will howl with rage if you categorize them as thieves, but they think nothing of calling credit card fraud by the same hated term? Either they're both thieves, or neither is a thief.

Of course, I could post it in a less trollish manner, but what would be the fun of doing that?

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658244)

However, what annoys me is the hypocrisy

It's only hypocrisy if they're the exact same situations (not if they're simply similar in your eyes).

Pirates will howl with rage if you categorize them as thieves, but they think nothing of calling credit card fraud by the same hated term?

Which pirates? That's just a generalization. And I think what someone does with the credit card makes a difference to said pirates.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658554)

I'm a against calling piracy theft. And I'm against calling fraud "identity theft." I don't see the hypocrisy, I'm consistent, mostly.

Re:Identity "theft" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658536)

"Either they're both thieves, or neither is a thief"

Specious reasoning. Copying music/movie files deprives media companies/retailers/producers of sales revenue if, and only if, those people copying the files would otherwise have bought them. e.g. I regularly "pirate" Doctor Who episodes. If I didn't though, I'd just wait until they were shown on New Zealand television, currently 5 or so episodes behind, I wouldn't buy them on DVD. On the other hand, 100% of identity thefts, only "copying" someone's identity(!), result in real financial loss, whether to the person whose identity was stolen or to the bank, or to the businesses who have to write off unpaid debt. You may as well liken a child who takes a handful of trail-mix from the supermarket to a multi-million dollar embezzler, after all, they're both "thieves" right?

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658078)

Identity Infringement?

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658516)

This argument is flawed. In the case of copying stuff on the internet, you just deny a business some hypothetical sales.

To use your phrase, yeah but no.

Its not that simple. When you take something you havent paid for, even if the original is still there, the actual value of it goes down. In a very real sense, piracy costs the creator money by illegitimately reducing the worth of that product.

You can argue about whether the creator deserves ANY compensation for their work, but acting like piracy doesnt affect the "economy" of creative works is overly simplistic, and incorrect.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658620)

In a very real sense, piracy costs the creator money by illegitimately reducing the worth of that product.

A potential loss of potential profit. The creator's currently owned money doesn't just vanish (as far as I know).

but acting like piracy doesnt affect the "economy" of creative works is overly simplistic, and incorrect.

I think all he mentioned was hypothetical sales. And I'd say he's correct. Not everyone would have bought it if they couldn't pirate it.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659006)

Although this thread has gone way off topic, I will throw in my two cents.

I once had a friend say it wasn't stealing because he wouldn't have bought it otherwise. This argument fails on so many levels. For you to have downloaded/copied it, you had to want it on some extent. If you didn't want it, you wouldn't download it. If you did, you would buy it. Since you did download it, you did want it, and therefore denied the owner the sale and revenue. Plus, if you can download what you marginally want and wouldn't buy otherwise, you are going to definitely download what you do want.

I have yet to meet someone who buys what they like and downloads what they don't, it is always an all or nothing.

Piracy is theft, plain and simple.

Any other argument is just lying to yourself to justify that you are not a criminal.

And I will admit that I used to pirate music, I stopped a long time ago and buy everything I want on CD or off of Amazon. The Amazon part is nice too because it kills the argument of not wanting to spend $20 on a CD since most CDs on Amazon/iTunes are $10 or less, and songs are usually $1, sometimes a little higher. Even videos are getting cheap when you can get episodes of TV shows at an average cost of $2.

We all used to complain that the MAFIAA wasn't changing to match technology, well they finally have and, really, all arguments pro piracy have dried up. The only thing I think they are failing with now are the stupid PSAs and commercials on every DVD I buy, but digital downloads are slowly taking care of that as well.

I am sure this will get modded down, but there you have it.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659138)

For you to have downloaded/copied it, you had to want it on some extent. If you didn't want it, you wouldn't download it. If you did, you would buy it.

Wanting it to some extent does not necessarily mean that you would have bought it.

1) They might want to save money for other things that they deem as more important.
2) They might not even have money.
3) In some cases, the person might not have even been able to buy it in the first place (due to their location).
4) In some cases (perhaps most, but who really knows how many?), they might have bought it if they didn't pirate it.

And even if a person in the fourth category pirated something, I still do not believe that something was stolen. I believe that an act of copyright infringement (technically, all of them qualify) occurred and a chance to make a profit (potential profit) was lost. I only think that something is stolen if the original owner loses something that they already had (such as property or currently owned money), not just the chance to earn more money. I'm sure you can (and will) argue that copyright infringement is still harmful, but I didn't state anything about that.

Any other argument is just lying to yourself to justify that you are not a criminal.

I see. So you're 100% correct and anyone who challenges you is 100% wrong. In my opinion, not even accounting for the possibility that you may be wrong is quite arrogant.

In any case, I don't think that there's very many pirates who believe that they are not criminals. They're obviously breaking the law. Whether those laws are just or not is up to the individual to decide and is a different matter entirely.

It may be unfortunate to hear, but not everyone shares your opinion about what is "right" or "wrong." And they're not necessarily wrong.

Re:Identity "theft" (2)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660264)

In any case, I don't think that there's very many pirates who believe that they are not criminals. They're obviously breaking the law.

Your post was pretty good up until this. Non-commercial copyright infringement is not a crime in most countries, it is a civil offence. The majority of "pirates" are not criminals.

You can read my reply to the parent here [slashdot.org] if you like.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660374)

Non-commercial copyright infringement is not a crime in most countries

That's true. Then there's the whole problem (not really a problem to me) of different countries having different laws. Sorry about that.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660248)

For you to have downloaded/copied it, you had to want it on some extent. If you didn't want it, you wouldn't download it. If you did, you would buy it. Since you did download it, you did want it, and therefore denied the owner the sale and revenue.

Nonsense. There are movies I would like to watch but do not buy. I also do not download them. If I changed my mind about downloading them, they would not be losing a sale, proven by the fact that I am now simply not watching those movies rather than buying them.

Any other argument is just lying to yourself to justify that you are not a criminal.

I don't need to justify myself since I'm not illegally downloading anything. Nevertheless, despite my complete lack of any need to justify my actions in this regard, I am still of the opinion that downloading is not theft. Furthermore, even if I was downloading for personal use, I still wouldn't be a criminal. I could (in that hypothetical case) be sued but not arrested as non-commercial copyright violation does not violate any part of the criminal code in my country.

Perhaps the clearest indicator that copyright violation is not theft is the existence of copyright laws. Since laws against theft precede copyright laws by thousands of years, if copyright violation was theft there would have been no need for copyright laws as offenders could have been prosecuted under the already existing laws against theft.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659702)

The life is actually screwed over by the careless creditors who handed money over to a fraudster and then came after the actual person rather than accepting that they screwed up. It's compounded by credit agencies that routinely get away with libel/slander (saying and printing adverse things about a person that cause material harm with a reckless disregard for the truth of the statements).

None of that should be taken as my support for identity thieves, fraud is wrong.It's just a recognition that they aren't the only ones doing wrong in identity theft, they're just the only ones who might ever be penalized for the wrong they do.

Re:Identity "theft" (3, Interesting)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657864)

I know you were making a joke, but I feel like pointing this out anyways since you brought it up.

"Identity Theft" is a bit of a misnomer, but it's not because of the 'theft' part. Something is being stolen, it's just not the identity. What's been stolen is the persons credit. The identity is just the tool used to do so.

"Credit Theft" just doesn't have the same punch to it though, so I doubt we'll see the name being changed in the name of pedantry anytime soon.

On a different note: ((13 million / 111) * 2) / 3 = $78,078.08 per year, if it was distributed evenly among all conspirators. Since some of the comments here quote the article as having some of the perpetrators renting jets, it certainly looks like some of the people involved in this sure got the short end of the stick considering the risk they're facing.

Remember kids, if you're going to steal millions of dollars, you need to incorporate first to avoid liability! ;-)

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658166)

"Credit Theft" still implies the absurd idea that my creditworthiness is somehow involved when a bank opens an account for a fraudster.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658562)

It is involved when the bank illegally holds you responsible for them being defrauded...

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658630)

What's being stolen is the person's proof of identity. Anything else depends on that.

Similarly, if I steal your login, I can read your mail, rewrite your documents, etc. Your login is the proof of your identity.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658842)

I was speaking in the sense that "steal" means to take something so that the owner no longer may use it. If somebody uses my proof of identity, I am not prevented from proving my identity myself. If somebody steals my credit, I can not use that credit (until I convince them it wasn't me and transfer liability to whoever gave the thief my credit).

Re:Identity "theft" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37659598)

What's being stolen is the person's proof of identity.

Not even that.

If a teenager were to "borrow" his elder brothers ID-card to get into the pub then yes, that could be considered theft. If he just makes a copy of it then it is not theft and his brother can still use it.
In the case of the story it is not the fraudulent use of anothers identity that is the problem. The problem is that it was used for theft. Had it been used to sneak into the pub it would have been a victimless crime and I doubt that anyone of those who got their identity "stolen" would have noticed it.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657866)

Yeah. Bunch of whiners. Everyone who has had their identity copied is a dinosaur, and should just learn to adapt, rather than trying to hide behind legislation.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657972)

You're ignoring the fact that after identity theft the original owner no longer has access to the things that a good credit score can obtain. If it was just a matter of making a copy that had no impact on the original you'd have a point. However, the individual whose identity is stolen ends up with decreased ability to borrow and possibly out of a job as some jobs do require one to have a good credit score and limited outstanding debt.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

number11 (129686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658712)

You're ignoring the fact that after identity theft the original owner no longer has access to the things that a good credit score can obtain. If it was just a matter of making a copy that had no impact on the original you'd have a point. However, the individual whose identity is stolen ends up with decreased ability to borrow and possibly out of a job as some jobs do require one to have a good credit score and limited outstanding debt.

But if you get a bad credit score, who was it that issued the score? It is the credit company that is issuing a false representation of your value, a score that does not reflect your true situation. How they could have known is irrelevant, it should be their problem, and they are are negligent in failing to learn the true situation before reporting it. If you make statements about others negligently and with disregard to facts, you will likely be liable, so why should the credit company not be liable?

Of course, we know it doesn't work that way. Them what has the money makes the rules. That's how they get to be in the 1% instead of the 99%.

Re:Identity "theft" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657986)

If someone uses my identity to take out a bunch of loans and credit cards they destroy the reputation for my identity. My original identity is then useless to me and I no longer have the ability to use it anymore.

Copying the credentials is not the same as copying the source. If I photocopy your credit card I don't get a duplicate of your account, I merely gain access to your original.

Re:Identity "theft" (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658050)

You missed a word. :P

Re:Identity "theft" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658258)

What I find bizarre about a lot of these stories is that somehow credit card theft has become synonymous with identity theft.

They are two radically different things. One is just using someone else's credit card (in which case that person is liable for $50 max), the other involves doing something like getting a whole new credit card in someone else's name (in which case can fuck up that person's credit rating for years).

That's ... weird. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657736)

Prosecutors call it the biggest identity theft bust in US history.

Okay. Sounds good.

Six of the accused are charged with stealing $850,000 worth of computer equipment from a Citigroup building in Long Island City last August. Prosecutors say that a former Citi employee, Steven Oluwo, and a security guard under contract to Citigroup, Angel Quinones, helped with the theft.

How is that "identity theft"? Unless they stole the computers containing personal information? If so, was it encrypted?

"Many of the defendants charged today are accused of going on nationwide shopping sprees, staying at five-star hotels, renting luxury automobiles and private jets, and purchasing tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-end electronics," the Queens DA office said.

Buying stuff I can understand. But renting a jet? That's just stupid! No wonder they were caught.

Re:That's ... weird. (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657900)

I suspect the equipment was for forgery purposes as they also found things like blank credit cards, and I'm guessing you can't get credit-card writers off the shelf. Actually, lemme check... no, doesn't look like Amazon sells any, just the readers. After finding out Amazon sells uranium, I really wouldn't be shocked.

I agree that renting a jet is kind of stupid. I'm more surprised that, with 111 people involved, they only stole $13 million. Seems like a lot, but it's only about $117,000 per person, which considering the risk is pretty low reward. Most crime is, though, I guess.

Re:That's ... weird. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657988)

Wrong search terms: "Magnetic Stripe Encoders" [amazon.com] are what you are looking for.

~$300, won't handle the fancy card graphics and embossed numerals("Magnetic Stripe Card Embossers" are used for that, also perfectly licit off-the-shelf items); but will turn a card blank into something that an automated POS won't bat an eye at(and, in most cases, re-using a bank-issued card, even if the number on the card doesn't match the one on the stripe, should probably escape a retail employee's notice).

Magnetic card stock is also a legitimate off-the-shelf item, as are printers that will dump an arbitrary color image onto blanks(entirely non-suspicious, any organization that issues mag-stripe IDs probably has such a printer on the shelf somewhere.) Getting a card-stock supplier to do a large print run of cards identical to bank blanks would probably raise some eyebrows; so you would presumably have to steal or print your own.

Everything you need to produce fully functional magnetic stripe cards is fully licit, available off the shelf, and not particularly expensive. The only "secret" is the name and number prominently displayed on actual issued credit cards, and handed over during each transaction. The "chip and PIN" stuff is horribly broken; but at least it pretends to be concerned about card cloning...

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658398)

I'm not sure how broken chip and pin is, really.

I worked on Chip And Pin stuff about ten years ago when Europe was starting to roll it out. As far as I know there still aren't many convincing hacks, and in fact the weakest link is the fact that the mag stripe is still present and some merchants still accept it.

That's not to say there aren't security holes, but the only one I've read about that can actually be exploited so far requires the original card and an active passthru device.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658588)

And there is trust of the terminal. You can hack a terminal in a manner that can "break" the transaction, but the issue with that is in reality, they'd get caught very fast when using it.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659742)

A lot of people get away with attaching skimmers to ATMs. Look through the news and you'll see plenty of skimmers found but few associated arrests.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659728)

The biggest weakness is that it can be skipped entirely. A few years ago when processing for the chip and pin in Europe went down for a week or so, retailers kept a roll of tape at the checkout you could use to temporarily disable the chip.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660350)

Well, while you -can- skip using the chip, the -entire- liability for the transaction is then on the merchant.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660466)

It's interesting how the liability never manages to find the bank, it's either the merchant or the cardholder in every case. I don't find that acceptable until they give me a system where I don't have to enter my PIN using an untrusted (by me) terminal.

Re:That's ... weird. (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660656)

Well, the bank is liable if the chip was cloned. However those cases are rare and the bank will be less then willing to admit that could be the case.

why not (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657738)

the banks do it every swipe, a little from you, a little from the seller and the CEO gets a 30 million dollar parachute and benefits

Re:why not (2)

tech4 (2467692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657772)

So? Both you and the seller have agreed to it.

Re:why not (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657810)

I agreed to totally free checking with a complementary debit card, without even the courtesy of a letter I am seeing 4$ charges for using my money a few years later.

I know what I agreed to because I have it in writing, for those items I am required to meet a minimum balance and have direct deposit, which I do. Now I am looking for a new bank and have filed with the BBB (as if that was not a placebo joke)

not necessarily. (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657932)

take for example the French check-processing scandal that happened a few years ago.

the banks said "oh, we are transitioning from paper checks to electronic payments. we will need to hike fees a little bit to pay for this transition, it will be expensive, but eventually we will stop"

guess what. they never stopped. years after they had completed the transition. years after they had payed back their costs. they kept charging people fees for 'electronic conversion'.

sure, you can argue that everyone agreed to that. but that would be a lie. everyone did not agree to it. and everyone knows it was wrong. except, somehow, certain sociopathic types who do not have a conscience, or undersatnd the difference between right and wrong.

improves my opinion of banks (5, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657798)

This significantly improves my opinion of banks. I knew that they were full of the kind of people who would hold the economy hostage and demand a bailout from the federal government because they were too big to fail. I knew they were full of the kind of people who would robo-sign documents fraudulently, sometimes causing families to be kicked out of their houses by mistake. I knew they were full of the kind of people who would convince working people to sign mortgages that the banks knew they could never repay, based on income information that the banks knew was fraudulent.

Now I find out that that isn't the only kind of person who works at banks. There are apparently some who aren't criminal masterminds, just workaday crooks. Small-time white-collar criminals who deal with Russian gangsters during the week to make an extra buck, but on the weekends go home and coach their kids' soccer teams. Very refreshing.

Re:improves my opinion of banks (2)

MicroSlut (2478760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657982)

My question is how do they recruit dishonest people without being turned in by the honest people who they approach? How do you organize 111 bank tellers (five groups, but still)? Did everyone they approach decide being a criminal was a good idea?

Re:improves my opinion of banks (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658032)

More likely, those involved were criminals and knew one another before embarking on this scheme. It's more common than you think, or did you think movies were the only places such ideas were put into action?

Scenario: Criminal ringleader gets the idea of duplicating credit information and pilfering bank account details. Criminal ringleader has his lackeys (the ones with no serious records) apply for bank teller, waiter, cashier, etc jobs out of the local Help Wanted ads. Pilfering commences.

The turnover rate amongst these types of employees is high, I think more groups get away with it than get caught.

Re:improves my opinion of banks (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659376)

My question is how do they recruit dishonest people without being turned in by the honest people who they approach?

Using the Triple Handshake?

The banker first offers to shake the candidate's right hand, then at the same time the candidate tries to steal the banker's wallet using his left hand, and then the banker blocks the attempt with a practiced move of his own left hand.

They both look into each others' eyes, and the guy is hired on the spot.

Re:improves my opinion of banks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658182)

"I knew they were full of the kind of people who would convince working people to sign mortgages that the banks knew they could never repay, based on income information that the banks knew was fraudulent. " .. if you really knew anything, you'd know it was the liberal left that put the pressure on the banks to lend money to people who couldn't afford the mortgages. All in the name of being "fair".

Nice try though, moron

Re:improves my opinion of banks (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658408)

if you really knew anything you would know it does not matter what side they are on, they are all the same greedy worm bastards participating in the same circle jerk while the country goes to hell. What one side liked yesterday is totally wrong when the other side likes it, its frankly pathetic, and nothing ever gets done.

Are All Bank Employees Crooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658560)

Upper-level officers issue illegal mortgage loans, create multi-tranched securities (CDOs) and sell them while the clerks specialize in stealing identities. Kind of a "Crooks, Inc. - Leave your cash at the door."

This certainly would make it easier to justify something like the French Revolution: "Hang 'em all and let God sort 'em out!"

Re:Are All Bank Employees Crooks? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659424)

"Hang 'em all and let God sort 'em out!"

Sorry, but the French revolution used a guillotine.

The correct quote is actually by Arnaud Amalric [wikipedia.org] , "kill them all, and let God sort them out". This was during the time of the Crusades, and he was an inquisitor sent by the Pope, talking about killing heretics.

Re:improves my opinion of banks (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658834)

Criminals behind the counter are VERY common. My wife worked in banking for about ten years. She ran into all kinds of crooks and sham artists on both sides of the counter. The thing is, when an employee gets caught ripping someone off or "befriending" very old men who have tons of money (they can see your holdings...all of them), the bank covers it up--every time if they can help it. They don't want the story hitting the local paper--very embarrassing and tends to scare customers. I've seen this over and over again in several small banks. I've also talked with good people who had long running ties to small banks and they have related the same stories to me. I always figured this was taking place on a massive scale. The fact is, there is no serious screening of bank tellers. It is a McJob and a half. On top of being a dead-end job, it is very stressful and draining. Realize that banks are like churches, they attract dubious people who seek to prey off the trusting people and resources available to those institutions. Bank tellers deal with a lot of people, they quickly surmise who is on top of things and who is not. The temptation and opportunity to exploit their power is always there. They may not target you because they will sense that you are smart and organized, but the 85 year old lady who takes a half hour to fill out a deposit slip is another story.

Re:improves my opinion of banks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660430)

Maybe in the USA bank tellers are treated like this, however, in Australia, a bank teller job is actually a quite good one with the ability to be promoted up into the banking ranks to such positions as loans officer, consultant, management, etc. It all depends on you, your abilities and your background education.

Same as mcdonalds, here in Australia, jobs in McD's are highly sought after for 15-18yos as a way of getting a decent start on their resumes. The pay is (well, last time I looked) quite good for the age category and you can get into management if you are lucky when you hit 18...

Identity is only worth stealing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657818)

as long as identity has value.

We have too much identity. Alleged identity does not assure good intentions or good funds.

The powers that be have been incessantly pushing more identity on us and all it's done is create more identity theft and identity abuse (often from marketers).

We should be moving to chip and pin, a proof of knowledge scheme, rather than this nonsense based on numbers which must be kept secret from thieves but shared with the whole world to do business, and names, an information commodity passed around more than a joint at a Dead concert.

Why should a card be billed by name and number? Are either relevant to assuring funds transfer? No. The only thing which should matter is a positive response from the merchant's bank confirming funds transfer.

A user-friendly payment system would give the merchant neither the name of the person using the secure card nor any unique identifying number. The response should be either VALID $x.yy or INVALID.

Our current payment system was designed by bankers, marketers, and politicians, and it shows.

If it were designed by security experts this would not be a problem.

and they turn away from Synthetic CDOs (3, Interesting)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657856)

the subprime RMBS, the Credit Default Swap market.... those were trillions of dollars... a single CDO deal could be worth a billion dollars... and law enforcement some how did not "come across" it.

if you want to know why, three of the best books are Confidence Game by Christine S Richard and The Asylum by Leah McGrath Goodman and EConned by Yves Smith. Another good resource is the film Inside Job by Charles Ferguson.

white-collar law enforcement is flat out corrupted, with guys who head regulatory agencies going soft on big financial institutions, and then getting hired by those institutions a year or two later.

the Synthetic CDO market has been called the biggest ponzi scheme in history, by Janet Tavakoli (who wrote three textbooks on structured finance). and insiders in the industry, like Gregg Lippman of Deutschebank, called it similar names, as revealed by the Levin Coburn senate committee hearings. You can find books like Colossal Failure of Common Sense, by Lehman bond trader Lawrence McDonald (and Patrick Robinson) who flat out call CDS "gambling". and then there is Lang Gibson , high up in Merrill Lynch's CDO business, who wrote an entire book called 'Lost Trust' about it. Then there is Tetsua Ishikawa, who wrote a novel called "How I caused the Credit Crunch" - he was an ex-Goldman Sachs guy .

Now lets not even discuss the Commodity Index Funds, or how "someone in Washington" prevented Goodman's article in a trade journal that blamed the GSCIF for manipulating market prices of commodities, or the article in Harpers that said similar things. Also lets not even go into how JP Morgan and other bailed-out banks have bought entire warehouses to hoard metals (Copper being the one JPM was caught doing), or that the head of JP Morgan's commodities business is none other than Blythe Masters - who was on the original JPM team that invented Credit Default Swaps in the 1990s.

No. Let's go after the half-starving clerks and retail workers, many of whom cannot even afford to go to a doctor, in the richest country on the history of the planet. Yeah. those are the real 'thieves'. arent they?

As Goodman quotes a Trader in her book, about why the cops never go busting the massive cocaine deals going on in places like the New York Mercantile exchange... "[why would they want to get caught up in a shit show like that? Theyd rather be busting Pablo in Harlem]". the same principle applies to other financial crimes, like theft and fraud. Why would a regulator or cop want to get caught up in a shit show like that?

forgot to mention the raiding of retirement funds (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657898)

by CEOs and executives... which is every bit, exactly, as much stealing as swiping someones credit card. and it has gone unpunished... there is a book that came out recently about this.

then there were the Auction Rate Securities scams...

then there were the CLO based mergers and acquisitions, created only for profit of traders...

and on and on. the garden of fraud that blossomed from 1995-2008 is unprecedented in human history, and yet law enforcement wasnt able to "come across it".

the only people in jail are Bernie Madoff and that one hedge fund dude. Everyone else got away.

figure that one out.

Re:forgot to mention the raiding of retirement fun (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658378)

Yep.... and frankly, I think Bernie Madoff just wound up a "fall guy" for the whole thing because he happened to con a lot of Hollywood celebs out of their money, making his bust much more "high profile". Everyone tunes into E! television and finds out they finally "caught the guy who took all of John Malkovich's savings" and it makes a bigger impression....

Re:and they turn away from Synthetic CDOs (2)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658544)

No. Let's go after the half-starving clerks and retail workers, many of whom cannot even afford to go to a doctor, in the richest country on the history of the planet. Yeah. those are the real 'thieves'. arent they?

Are you suggesting they should get a free pass for theft? Seems a little ridiculous that one should augment one's income by stealing from patrons and then attempt to justify it.

The problem with many of the fat cats is, what they did is in many cases not illegal. Make it illegal first.

Re:and they turn away from Synthetic CDOs (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660206)

They got caught and they should be prosecuted, BUT, in the scheme of things, the fat bankers at the top stole billions and wiped out the entire world's economy leaving a great many homeless and jobless. In comparison, these people swiped a candy bar from the grocery store. Don't you find it just a bit annoying that the FBI is spending all those resources on the great Hershey bar caper and isn't even bothering to ask a few questions of the fat bankers who still sit in their offices sneering at the peons they ripped off?

SOME of what the fat cats did isn't technically illegal (even if it should be), but there is ample evidence that plenty of them crossed the line into provable fraud. A good thorough and very public investigation complete with a report on who did what when and how illegal was it might help reign some of this crap in. For those things that should be but aren't illegal, we'll just have to let it slide (rule of law must be maintained) but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be outed as too toxic to do business with in the future. If a few million 99 percenters would care to go piss on their lawns daily, well what can you do?

Re:and they turn away from Synthetic CDOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658602)

No. Let's go after the half-starving clerks and retail workers, many of whom cannot even afford to go to a doctor, in the richest country on the history of the planet. Yeah. those are the real 'thieves'. arent they?

Nah. They're not "half-starving". I see no need for mercy: identity thieves should be shot after conviction.

But I would do far worse to those who were convicted of mortgage fraud, created bad CDOs et al. I'm thinking burning at the stake, iron maiden, the rack, etc. with the minimal sentence being branding a big "W" on the forehead . Wall Street needs a temporary dungeon for about the next 2 years to do the processing. It would be hard work, but jobs are so scarce I'm certain you'd get lots of applicants.

Re:and they turn away from Synthetic CDOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660476)

Don't forget to Occupy Wallstreet!!!

A lost cause; but here we go... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657884)

I despise how these cases get treated as "identity theft" rather than "bank/CC fraud with a side of impersonation". An "identity" as it is presently constructed for financial purposes, is basically all public, or near-public information(much of it is public record, the rest is simultaneously treated as Super Secret Proof, and demanded, all the time, by basically everybody, because it is Super Secret Proof, which of course means that it is basically public, like SSNs and CC numbers...) It isn't the person whose "identity" is used to perpetrate a given frauds fault that financial institutions can't be bothered to actually verify transactions properly, although the poor bastards often get stuck with years of hassle for it anyway.

The notion of "identity theft" seems like nothing more than a cynical way to shift responsibility away from the responsible parties, and the parties who could do something about it(hey, Visa, don't want my CC getting cloned by anybody who manages to obtain the numbers visible in plaintext on the card, which have to be used to perform a transaction? Try cryptography...) and onto the suckers at the bottom of the food chain who, realistically, have very little control over the 'security' that a bunch of nearly public information connected to them is given by the large number of people who have access to it.

Re:A lost cause; but here we go... (3, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658084)

I love this thread... it is insane to try to keep a system like this designed for a few clients in the 1950s and 1960s alive when it has scaled to a significant fraction of the planet's population. Cryptography would be a great leap forward, but even a few simple things could make it much better like having a website for each of the major CC/Debt card vendors where you can have them generate a new random large number for handing off (via cut/paste, or whatever) to a vendor, which gives them a claim for x dollars from your account... once, or whatever schedule/limits you set.... and would only work for their account, nobody elses.

Even if their computers were stolen, the number wouldn't work for anyone else..... and if they tried to screw you, you'd just revoke the capability from your control panel, and they'd never get another cent.

This could be done with 1970's class mainframe hardware... and would require only a few nano-cents worth of storage these days.... yet we get screwed by the IT systems designed in the 1950s.

ShopSafe to the rescue! (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658304)

generate a new random large number for handing off (via cut/paste, or whatever) to a vendor, which gives them a claim for x dollars from your account... once, or whatever schedule/limits you set.... and would only work for their account, nobody elses.

This already exists, it's called "ShopSafe". It's available for many credit cards including some Visa's.

The website creates a new credit card that links to your account, so that charges to this new card appear on your statement.

The new card has a limit which you choose, and an expiry date which you also choose (default: 2 months). Once a vendor charges to the card, no *other* vendor can levy further charges.

So for example, to purchase something online for $50, ask it to generate a new card for $70 (to cover postage and taxes and whatnot) with an expiry 2 months from now. Once the vendor charges the card, it's locked to that vendor and won't accept charges from any other.

I use it all the time for online purchases and haven't had a problem yet. Unfortunately, using one of these is against Paypal's TOS (according to them, verbally)(and yes, they will freeze your account for using one), so it won't work for eBay sales.

People on this thread keep pointing out that card users have no way to keep their "super secret" numbers safe, but this is one method that works quite well.

Search for "ShopSafe" on your card's web page to see if this is available for your card.

Re:ShopSafe to the rescue! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658352)

Why am I not surprised to hear that PayPal is doing something evil, again?

Re:ShopSafe to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37659410)

It should probably be noted that eBay requires you to have a credit card on file as a seller to ensure (well sorta-kinda ensure) against sellers listing things they don't have, collecting the money and running off.

As is typical this authoritarian protection is mostly useless since there's plenty of sellers who do this anyway using more tricky methods.

Re:ShopSafe to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658982)

PayPal is a byzantine scheme all in itself. They don't give a rat's ass about your money getting stolen and the structure (technical side) of their business precludes any responsibility. I hate PayPal. The Ebay/PayPal doppelganger will jerk your account and your money around whenever and however they feel like it. Using those services I always feel totally paranoid and cornered.

Re:ShopSafe to the rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660554)

They don't jerk my money around. I have multiple bank accounts -- only one of which is known to PayPal. When I receive funds, I transfer to a "safe" account. If something goes wrong, they can't take my money.

Re:A lost cause; but here we go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658370)

My credit card company (Citi) does that. They call it Virtual Account Numbers. Specifically, they have a Flash applet (who knows why it's not just a normal web page...) where you can create new credit card numbers and choose the dollar limit (or no limit) and expiration of 2-12 months from now. The numbers may only be charged to by whichever merchant first uses them. Also, you can update the limit and expiration date of unexpired numbers.

Re:A lost cause; but here we go... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659666)

Start by using the chip on your credit cards like we do in Europe and not the magnetic strip. Would be a good start already.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658198)

OMG! I've been saying this for years. Finally someone else has the same idea. Perhaps in another 20 years, a small subset of the general public might see it our way as well.

Absolutely, it's a blame-shifting term. When a bank sues you over non-payment of loans that you never applied for, it isn't because the bank is incompetent and loaned money to someone without knowing who they were. No, it's because someone "stole your identity" and thus, the bank knew exactly who it was making the loan to. So they did nothing wrong. It was all your fault when you failed to protect your identity from theft.

Same thing if they drain all the money from your account. The bank didn't screw up and give your money to someone else. Rather, someone "stole your identity," and so the bank did indeed give your money to you. So don't expect the bank to reimburse you for the money you lost. After all, they didn't make a mistake. It's your fault that you allowed yourself to be stolen. You should have been more careful.

Re:A lost cause; but here we go... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659400)

Fuzzy Fuzzy Fungus,
I couldn't mod you up, you were already at the maximum, but I've just got to say, yours is the best insight I've seen this year. Thank you.

The notion of "identity theft" seems like nothing more than a cynical way to shift responsibility away from the responsible parties, and the parties who could do something about it...

Who did the investigation? (2)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658288)

The only agency I see referenced in TFA is the Queens DA. I'm guessing that this, by it's nature, would be interstate and therefor investigated by the US Secret Service. But I would expect the USSS to hand the case over to a US Attorney General for prosecution. I'll have to do some google-fu to get beyond the self aggrandizing release by the Queens DA to get a more complete story. There is no way he did this by himself. Kinda prickish not to mention the others involved.

Re:Who did the investigation? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658362)

Ok, it was a bad press article, go figure.

Here's the real press release [queensda.org] (and quite detailed, it should have been TFA.)

In short, I have to appolgise for the above post regarding the actions of the Queens DA. Here's part of the press release:

"The investigation was conducted by Detectives Enrico Morriello, Edwin Romero and Dafeng Zeng, of the New York City Police Departmentâ(TM)s Identity Theft Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Ruperto Aguilar and the command of Deputy Inspector Gregory T. Antonsen, of the Organized Theft and Identity Theft Task Force, and the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Jeremiah Quinlan, commander of the Special Investigations Division, and Chief of Detectives Phil T. Pulaski."

If you go on to read the actual press release I doubt that the DA left out the names of any distant half cousins. It just shows how badly a "news editor" can mangle a bit of "reporting."

Anywho.. kudos to NYPD on a very thorough case that actually effects citizens in their city. To be honest, the feds should have been on this. (I wonder what the turf wars were like on this.)

What a bunch of slackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37658426)

FIS Global had $13 million stolen from a hack of their prepaid card business in a day and a half earlier this year. These people took a year and a half to steal the same amount.

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/08/coordinated-atm-heist-nets-thieves-13m/

Suprise in the article... (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658582)

I haven't find the word "hacker" mentioned anywhere, since that was the mainstream definition for these people.

Ipso Facto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660242)

They got the wrong guys

Sometimes (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660522)

Sometimes it's just too easy... Like the fact that until recently you could divert mail here in Denmark by simply filling out a form at the post office. No checks were performed and no notification were given at the old address. Fraudsters used this to intercept any mails the target shouldn't see while forwarding manually all other mail. This way the target never missed any mail and thus didn't suspect anything.

The postal service initially refused to accept that it could be a problem despite several cases using this trick, but has now updated procedures, so valid photo ID (drivers license, passport) is required to set up diversion, and the old address is notified. Credit card companies and banks now use fairly simple and logical steps to verify the identity of people ordering new credit cards. Some cards you can only have one of, some cards are not issued unless the (future) card holder confirm the card order using the phone number registered with the bank, and some require picture ID and a visit to a branch. Some require all of the above.

Same thing with loans, mobile phone subscriptions etc. - they require a drivers license or a passport to even start setting things up. Identity thieves will have fairly big problems obtaining such false documents, and due to the nature of these documents, getting caught with your hand in *that* cookie jar will net you a pretty severe punishment, much more than the fraud itself...

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