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Forbes 400 Targeted by ID Thieves

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the where-the-money-is dept.

Security 51

An anonymous reader writes "Numerous media outlets have been reporting this story about an ID theft ring which targeted the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. It seems that Igor Klopov, a 24 year-old Russian citizen, was the ring leader and was caught after attempting to pick up $7 million in gold that he was using to launder the money. It goes to show that anyone can be the target of identity theft, as they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus."

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Wanna bet... (2, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275707)

>they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus.

I'll bet the freeze on that record went through without any quibbles or extra charge.

Re:Wanna bet... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276159)

Nope it would not have been so easy for him.
Remember the scene in Transformers where the Special Forces unit calls Qatar to a call center who does not recognize the emergency and refuses to forward the call to Pentagon??

Something similar should have been done to Transunion President who tried to freeze his credit report.
After listening to soothing music for 30 mins, he should have been transferred to a call center monkey with a scripted response: "Am sorry sir. I would have to disconnect you now for your language. Please call back later."

This would have taught the Transunion president something about selling someones else's data.

Re:Wanna bet... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279319)

I'll bet the freeze on that record went through without any quibbles or extra charge.

No kidding. Like when Senator Ted Kennedy ended up on a no-fly list ... a phone call later and he was off of it. The rest of us don't have such options.

only 1m? (2, Interesting)

adamruck (638131) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275731)

I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks. I imagine that these guys would have gotten away no problem.

Along the opposite side, the article talks specifically about the group stealing 1m from an individual. If your one of the richest 400 in America, surely you have more than 1m in bank right? I wonder if they group wanted to stay under a certain amount of cash for a particular reason.

Re:only 1m? (3, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275769)

I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks.

Instead of 7 million in gold they would score a box of obsolete computer parts and case of Pabst.

Re:only 1m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20276037)

Touche, Joe.

Re:only 1m? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275843)

At this point, I would call them Joe Seven-Packs. I mean, 6 figure incomes wouldn't do it in this day and age if you are trying to stay under radar. You want to go after the 7 and 8 figure income earners.

Re:only 1m? (3, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276491)

I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks. I imagine that these guys would have gotten away no problem.

Exactly, mostly because the Forbes people are famous enough to be recognized. I imagine the takedown went something like this:

Russian ID Thief: Ch-alo, yes. I am zee Hopera Vindfeeeed. I am chh-here to be pickings up zee gould vat is mine.
Gold merchant: OK, let me just bag that for you and... wait a second...

Re:only 1m? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20281071)

Hey, if you're going to steal identities, why not go for the gold?

*ducks*

obligatory (2, Funny)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275825)

In Soviet Russia, Forbes 400 finds ID fraudsters.

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20277111)

That was funny! May the moderator(s) who moderated that message down be metamoderated into karma hell.

And don't forget to moderate me down too!

Manipulating Forbes list (2, Interesting)

e1618978 (598967) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275853)

I imagine that the publicity from being on the Forbes list would be a huge disadvantage (people would try to kidnap your kids, hit you up for money, recognize you in the market, etc), which makes me think that there are a lot of billionaires that are actively trying to avoid being on the list. Who knows if that Mexican guy is really the richest person - Maybe Bill Gates wasn't even in the top 10? Also, I wonder if there are a lot of attempts at bribery of the Forbes reporters from people who want to stay off the list...

Re:Manipulating Forbes list (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275999)

If I were a billionaire, I'd sure as hell do whatever I could to keep a low profile. Rich? great. Famous? No, thanks.

-jcr

Re:Manipulating Forbes list (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20276053)

From what I know, the Forbes list is based on income declared for tax purposes. As such most of those rich people would actively try to declare as little income as possible in order to avoid tax. So I would not be surprised that some of those on the Forbes list actually have far more money in offshore accounts etc... which they do not declare.

And I can tell you I know of a few people who are magnitudes richer then those in the Forbes list, but they are not on the list because they do not declare any income (they are part of the criminal underworld, so tax-evasion is one of those relatively insignificant things for them, and this is also one of the reasons I am posting anonymously ).

In a nutshell, there are people out there far richer than what is posted on these "rich-lists".

Re:Manipulating Forbes list (1)

etnu (957152) | more than 7 years ago | (#20278101)

The forbes wealth list is calculated based almost entirely on what's available under the public record (stock holdings, income, etc.) Based on that, you can assume a few things: - Most of the people on that list (especially the less than reputable ones) have a lot more money than forbes is reporting. - There are many people who have no "public" income who are on that list (not just criminals, either -- there are probably many people who simply sit on top of a lot of cash, gold, and other valuables. Perhaps they have a giant money bin to swim around in).

Re:Manipulating Forbes list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20286755)

Yeah, because if it wasn't for Forbes, I would know who Warren Buffet was.

Nitwit.

Finally! (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275861)

You know the saying about infecting the world leaders with AIDS and having a cure in a year. Maybe this does the same, now that it hits someone who "matters"...

If THAT were true... (4, Interesting)

doug141 (863552) | more than 7 years ago | (#20277109)

We wouldn't have this:

Approximately $3040 is spent on AIDS research for every one death caused by the disease. In comparison, only $37 is spent on cardiovascular disease per death caused by the disease.

Source:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/152003/is _too_much_money_allocated_to_aids.html [associatedcontent.com]

ummm... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279403)

Approximately $3040 is spent on AIDS research for every one death caused by the disease. In comparison, only $37 is spent on cardiovascular disease per death caused by the disease.
How many people die of AIDS a year? How many of CV disease? Which one has been around for much longer and is much better understood? Are we looking at figures worldwide or in the US? A statement like this, while it sounds significant, is ultimately pretty meaningless. And that source hardly looks objective.

Re:ummm... (2, Informative)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279573)

Google is your friend.

Top 10 Causes of Death Worldwide
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?art iclekey=62218 [medicinenet.com]

However, other leading causes of death differed depending on countries' incomes. Here is the list for high-income countries:

      1. Heart disease
      2. Stroke
      3. Lung cancer
      4. Lower respiratory infections
      5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
      6. Colon and rectum cancers
      7. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
      8. Type 2 diabetes
      9. Breast cancer
    10. Stomach cancer

Here is the list for low- and middle-income countries:

      1. Heart disease
      2. Stroke
      3. Lower respiratory infections
      4. HIV/AIDS
      5. Fetus/newborn (perinatal) conditions
      6. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
      7. Diarrhea
      8. Tuberculosis
      9. Malaria
    10. Road traffic accidents

Re:ummm... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20290837)

...exactly my point. you have a lot more dying of heart disease on either list, particularly on the first.

Re:If THAT were true... (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#20282833)

Does there need to be such money spent on cardiovascular disease? Does that money for AIDS pay off in other ways? AIDS involves multiple viral infections and other illnesses, and is caused by a virus too. What are the average ages of people who die with cardiovascular diseases and AIDS? It seems to be past 70 years for heart disease and 45 years for AIDS. How easily can each be reversed? Presumably you can change your lifestyle to mitigate heart disease when you're at risk, but with AIDS you're entirely dependant on medicine. Lastly, AIDS is apparently a big issue in Africa too for whatever that's worth.

This is all highly speculative, but the point is I doubt the matter is so simple as comparing dollars per death. And even if there is "too much" spent on AIDS then it still has to be judged with a better metric.

Re:If THAT were true... (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 7 years ago | (#20286953)

Presumably you can change your lifestyle to mitigate heart disease when you're at risk, but with AIDS you're entirely dependant on medicine

A bias has to be deeply entrenched for anyone to say something this stupid.

Re:If THAT were true... (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299351)

And how entrenched does a bias have to be for someone to make conclusions from insufficient information and then insult people who question him?

Re:If THAT were true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20284297)

So perhaps it's actually smarter to have unprotected sex than to eat fast food? Better long term prospects.

Re:If THAT were true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20285581)

This is Opportunist, replying anonymously so I don't lose karma.

Seriously, shut up you dick licking fuck face. Your corporate apologist ways disgust me.

This is a good thing (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275917)

Now maybe some real measures will be done about the rampaging problem of ID theft.

Why do we have to pay three separate organizations to be more judicious about how they share our information? Especially when we have no control over how they got it to begin with.

I'm referring to placing a lock on your credit files _before_ an ID theft occurs. I'm lucky enough to live in a state that passed a law giving me this 'ability'. The big three ID theft enablers--I mean credit reporting organizations do not have to honor any freeze requests without a report of theft.

One last rhetorical question, why have we allowed an entire industry to spring up around ID theft prevention?

Re:This is a good thing (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20277219)

Now maybe some real measures will be done about the rampaging problem of ID theft.
You must be new here.

The problems were first described and warned about over a decade ago and the policies pursued since then deliberately welcome ID theft. Read old cypherpunks mailing list archives or Tim May's cyphernomicon.

National ID Card Now ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20275919)

But that would upset our Libertarian and ACLU buddies. Wouldn't want our enlightened elite to have to check their nannies' and gardeners' documents.

Re:National ID Card Now ! (1)

yoghurt (2090) | more than 7 years ago | (#20275977)

How would a national ID card help? E.g., it's not like you need any ID card to sign up for a credit card offer.

Re:National ID Card Now ! (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276473)

In the US you are required to provide an SSN for credit cards, loans, open bank accounts, etc.

But as anybody with 3 living brain cells knows, SSNs are bought and sold on street corners nationwide.

Re:National ID Card Now ! (2, Insightful)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276245)

And when your national ID card is compromised, how do you prove it's you so you can recover?

Security through redundant backups, people.

Re:National ID Card Now ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20276577)

Scared of pedophiles? There's an easy way to keep pedophiles away from your children.

1. Ask if the nanny loves children, if she does -- she is a pedophile.
2. Is she old? Then she's probably not a pedophile.
3. Does she look evil? Then she's probably not a pedophile.

I've employed nothing but evil old ladies that hate children to take care of my children. I love my children (IN A COMPLETELY NON-SEXUAL WAY!!!).

Glad to see you (5, Funny)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276015)

> arrested attempting to pick up $7 million in gold that he was using to launder the money.

$7 million to do the laundry? This sounds like the work of Judge "No Pants" Pearson. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/08/f irst_pants_man_loses_case_nex.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Glad to see you (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279597)

I'm still trying to figure out how he was going to pack $7 million worth of gold bars into the laundromat machine...

The spin cycle would have been interesting to watch.

Transunion are a bunch of crooks anyhow. (2, Insightful)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276065)

So, I am glad to see their president, leader of crooks targeted to be robbed.

Transunion, like all other credit bureaus, sells your info to collectors to rip you off, and they sell you the same data even tho it is your data.

Fuck all of them I say.

Re:Transunion are a bunch of crooks anyhow. (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276093)

I don't usually side with the "screw the man" type of thinking, but man, it shows how SERIOUSLY messed up the system is when the president of one of the companies that decides whether or not you get to get a credit card, a car loan, a home loan, or impacts any number of other financial transactions you may need or want to make is one of the 400 RICHEST people.

That is seriously not the way it should be.

I dunno... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276625)

makes him kinda unbuyable...

I mean-- if the person deciding if Donald Trump gets a loan to buy a casino....
and donald gives him 500k to see things his way
and the casino then folds- cause the paper shouldn't have been written... and a lotta people go out of work mid-stream beacuse of it.. I'd rather have someone making the decisions without the ability to have them be influenced by 'outsider' incentives....

Re:I dunno... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279401)

on the other hand, I don't like the fact that the people setting policies that can completely screw up the lives of ordinary citizens are so isolated from those lives that they really just don't need to care. They don't suffer any consequences from the rules they impose upon the rest of us. Politicians are the other major example of such a disconnect, and look where that's taken us.

Re:Transunion are a bunch of crooks anyhow. (2, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 7 years ago | (#20281649)

it shows how SERIOUSLY messed up the system is when the president of one of the companies that decides whether or not you get to get a credit card, a car loan, a home loan, or impacts any number of other financial transactions you may need or want to make is one of the 400 RICHEST people.
I used to work for Transunion. If I would have known the president was in the Forbes 400 I would have asked for more money. As it is, my contract was cancelled two weeks early because they couldn't afford me anymore due to 9/11. I guess they could have afforded me and a thousand more like me if they stopped paying the president.
For the record, Transunion has nothing to do with deciding whether or not you get a credit card, car loan, home loan, or anything else. They just report to potential creditors exactly what has been reported to them. Manipulating that in any way would be a crime.
Credit Fraud is not done by the big three. That would be very dumb. Credit Fraud is done by creditors. Case in point. My sister was feeling threatened by Automax Hyundai of Midwest City Oklahoma (do not shop there) and walked off the lot. She went to several other Hyundai dealers and was turned down for credit because Automax had submitted multiple denials of loans all for the same day and she had not applied for a loan at all. She eventually got a dealer to give her a loan at something like 15% interest. I told her she should have done without the car for a week, gotten a lawyer and then she probably wouldn't have had to pay for a car at all. Too bad she didn't listen. Rarely, lawyers are actually useful.

President of Transunion got hit? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276429)

Now thats justice if i have ever seen it.

mod d0wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20276935)

ehtical and sensible (1, Redundant)

whitroth (9367) | more than 7 years ago | (#20276975)

Was it Pretty Boy Floyd who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, "that's where the money is"?

                mark

Re:ehtical and sensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20277613)

I thought it was jesse james

Re:ehtical and sensible (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20278909)

I image that was inspiration for Michael Crichton:

Judge: Now, on the matter of motive, we ask you: Why did you conceive, plan and execute this dastardly and scandalous crime?
Edward Pierce: I wanted the money.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079240/ [imdb.com]

Best justice the money can buy (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279003)

It sure would be nice if the DAs in this country took identity theft crimes targeting the Forbes 270,000,000 list just as seriously as they appear to be taking crimes against the Forbes 400 list.

It also would be nice if the press called them out on it once in a while, especially during a press conference announcing the arrests of these criminals where the Manhattan DA spewed the nonsense about being tough on identity crime.

Best justice the money can buy (See: Duke) (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20280489)

Unfortunately, it'd get to be something like this [wikipedia.org] . It only takes one pissed off person with cash to do it.

Wrong guy... (1)

tmh - The Mad Hacker (962953) | more than 7 years ago | (#20279443)

"they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus." They'd better be good at stealing identities; they'll never be able to use their own again! :-)
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