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Identity Thieves Not Big On Technology

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-much-hacking-involved dept.

Security 94

alphadogg sends us to Network World, as is his wont, for a summary of a new study of identity theft based on the outcomes of more than 500 Secret Service cases from 2000 to 2006. Here is the study report (PDF). The AP has coverage emphasizing other slants on the findings. Among the surprises: just 51% of convicted ID thieves were sent to prison. Only 20% of the cases involved use of the Internet, and such cases may be on the decline. More perpetrators used good old-fashioned dumpster diving and stealing stuff out of mailboxes.

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94 comments

HOW TO GET A FEMALE TO LET YOU FUCK HER! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21093573)

In today's society, it is relatively easy to get laid, but it does always help when you have a GAME-PLAN! This is what I am about to offer you, A planned way to get your prick into a female's vagina (cunt). Getting a woman to willingly drop her pants for you is not what would be classified as an easy task, but the ultimate result of a warm and wet pussy snugly wrapped around your throbbing cock is certainly well worth your most earnest effort! First, Don't bother trying to go after the most popular or the best looking female in your life! That Bitch already has every stud in the world trying to BANG her... Search out a plain looking female who looks like she would be flattered by attention... This does NOT mean to pick a female who is not worthy of your attention. The selection of the TARGETED female is your initial step in the procedure!

THE INITIAL ENCOUNTER AND COURTSHIP

Your selected Bitch should possess the following traits: She should have an out going personality, a friendly smile and fairly large tits! She should be very limited in The Dating Game, and she should not have a current boyfriend. After all, this isn't a lesson on how to pick up a Bimbo or a common whore! This is a lesson on how to PREY on a young and innocent female! You now want to show an interest in this female. Start out by smiling at her when-ever you see her... After a few days, if you don't already know what her name is, BUMP into her by accident, and act embarrassed, but keep smiling at her when you do this... Then take this opportunity to introduce yourself to her by exchanging names, and be sure to compliment her that 'She is one of the most attractive females that you have seen in months!' and it just so happens you have common interests! (CHEAT! Find out one of her interests and study up on it!) After all, this is the female that you have decided that you want to FUCK! Now start SWEET TALKING your target! Mention to her that you heard that she is also interested in WHATEVER! She will jump at this chance, unless you are a FUCKING DORK, and then you should have gone after the DOG that looked she should be BARKING AT THE MOON!

BREAKING THE ICE

At this point, you should already be sending out sexual signs to let the female know her mind and brains are NOT your only interest! Look down at her tits WHILE you are talking to her. DO NOT GAWK AT THEM, but simply let her know that you've noticed that she has a PRETTY decent set of tits! If she is still receptive of your advances, you are already 20% there!! It is now time to BACK OFF !! You have accomplished your first step in your journey toward Sexual gratification! She will need a day or two to digest your encounter. With any LUCK, she will have bragged to a few of her friends about you. This will REALLY put the final nail in her Vaginal coffin, and make her an extremely easy target! When ever you see her, keep smiling, and keep letting her know that you are STILL very interested in her. If you have a chance to chat with her, REMEMBER to pay her compliments like 'How PRETTY her hair looks, or what a LOVELY dress she is wearing, or how INTOXICATING her perfume is! It is now time to move in on your prey like a frigging MAD dog in HEAT!!

LET THE CHASE BEGIN!

It is now time to turn on your charms. You should be acting friendlier and certainly more aggressive toward her as each day and hour passes. It is now time to ask her out on a date that will involve your MUTUAL interest. (Let the scenario be that you both enjoy going to the movies.) This part takes some BALLS, but if you want to get laid, you gotta DO IT! Ask her to go to that movie with you! You will have to pay her way. The first date should be nothing more than holding hands in the movies and maybe an occasional kiss. Unless she takes the initiative, DO NOT attempt to sexually molest her, not yet anyway! After your FIRST date has ended, make it a point to let her know what a GREAT time you had being with her, and set up another date in a few days.. (This will again give her time to BRAG to her girl friends about the WONDERFUL guy she has started to date!) She is now to falling into the 'PEANUT BUTTER LEGS' (Easy to spread) trap! Your GETTING LAID game plan is now 40% complete! It is now time to start the physical assault of the Bitch that you have targeted!

BAITING YOUR HOOK

To begin your physical assault of your chosen female! You must realize that you simply can not rip off her clothing and just FUCK her! It must be done with a smooth and sophisticated technique... It is now mandatory that you relate to this female that you care DEEPLY about her! You must make her feel that she is the ONLY female in the world that you have any genuine feelings for... Once she believes that, ANYTHING is possible!! The next step is to lure her into your apartment when nobody else is home. If this is not possible, get her in a car and drive to a secluded area. If there are no secluded areas, or lover's lanes in your neighborhood, try the back of the Cemetery or in back of an empty warehouse or even in a vacant garage. You have now arrived at the CRUCIAL point where this female must be reassured that she is 'THE SPECIAL GIRL IN YOUR LIFE' (At least for this evening!) It is now the proper time for your Sexual Assault on her to begin! Foreplay is the most crucial and final step in your master Game Plan! It requires gentleness, and the understanding of her inner fears. Unless you have selected a totally clueless bitch, she has some idea of the situation that she is about to get herself into. Also, keep in mind that females enjoy sexual stimulation as much as males, so you will actually be doing her a favor, if you do it right! It must be pleasurable for her, or she may decide to reject your advances! Look this female directly in the eyes, smile slightly and tell her that she has the most beautiful eyes that you have ever looked into! Before she can reply to your compliment, reach out and stroke her hair. Again smile and tell her how soft and lovely her hair is. While you have your hand on her hair, tell her how sensuous her lips are. At the same moment, curl your outstretched hand around the back of her neck, and pull her face toward yours. Next, give her a tender kiss in the lips. Do not make it last for more than two seconds. Look directly into her eyes, tenderly smile at her, and again kiss her, but this time make it last for about 10 seconds, and do it with a bit more passion.

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART TWO

Reassure her that you care very much about her, and her feelings. This part is extremely crucial! Most of all make DAMN sure that she understands that you RESPECT her! If she falls for that line of SHIT, you are about 60% there! In order for you to receive pleasure from a female, you must first give her pleasure! Tenderly take this female into your arms and gently hug her. While you are hugging her, put your head on her shoulder so your mouth is near the side of her neck. Next start to gently kiss the side of her neck. Move your mouth slightly after each kiss, but continue to work in the same general area for about one full minute. This action will send shivers of excitement through her whole body. At this point you should once again kiss her on the lips. As you kiss her, gently slide your hands to her back and with your fingers spread wide apart, firmly pull her body toward yours, as you slightly massage her and relax her. Rub her shoulders, the back of her neck, and the lower sides of her back. Continue these actions, as you continue to kiss and caress the Bitch. While you are kissing her neck, take a moment to take a deep breath and gently breath into her ear. (DO NOT BLOW INTO IT, JUST BREATH INTO IT!) This will arouse her PASSION and get her FEMALE SEX JUICES flowing!

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART THREE

At the first moment that you notice her mouth opening slightly while you are kissing her, slide your tongue into her mouth and move it around her tongue, and begin to kiss her slightly harder. Start to breath slightly harder to let her know that she has started to get you excited! As you play kissy tongue, slide one of your hands onto her chest, and very gently rub it across her tit! She should not have any objection at this point. Keep deeply kissing her and slide the other hand onto her other tit. Begin to gently message her tits in a circular motion, while you also gently squeeze them. Remember, you are not milking a friggin' cow; you are seducing a female! It is now time for you to start upwrapping (undressing) your sexual like unbuttoning your own shirt with one hand, days before this event takes place. Before you take the Bitch to the secluded area, you should make mental notes of the type of blouse, dress, pants, nylons etc. that she is wearing. Remember where the zippers are; see if her blouse buttons are in the front or the back. If she is wearing a sweater, you may have to slide your hands underneath it.

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART FOUR

If your selected Bitch is allowing you to fondle her tits through her clothing she will also allow you undress her to the point that you can play with them she is naked from the waist up. To do this, you must first carefully unbutton her blouse or even assist her in removing her sweater. Next you will be faced with removing her bra. Some of these little suckers can be tricky! Most bras are hooked in the rear. The larger the tits, the more hooks you'll find! If you put your finger on one side of the hook and your thumb on the other side then squeeze, the hook can be undone with one careful that you don't tear any of her clothes, because her mother or father might figure out what you have done to their daughter, and that could lead to you receiving a severe beating! Unless the Bitch helps you to totally remove the bra, don't bother trying to get it all the way off. Once the hooks are undone, you can slip your hands beyond her stomach, up to her tits, and fondle to your heart's desire! Next, it is time to start sucking on her nipples! This causes a wonderful sensation in a female's body it actually activates her 'I WANT MORE' button! Naturally, after 5 or 10 minutes of this TIT action, you will be happy to oblige her!

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART FIVE

Do not just suck on her nipples. Move your tongue around it also. Foreplay is a body massage done with your hands, fingers and tongue. The entire intent of this exercise is to arouse the Bitch's sexual excitement... At some point during your sexual attack, you may encounter some resistance. The Bitch may say something like 'PLEASE STOP!' This is a simple ploy used by many females, because they don't want you to think that they are a tramp! Ignore those stupid requests. You might consider putting her at ease saying that you promise not to go any further than you have already gone. (Lie to the Bitch! Tell her that you er h her! Tell her WHATEVER she wants to hear!) Continue to kiss her, lick her, hold her, squeeze her, rub her, suck on her nipples and fondle her... Continue your sensual and sexual body massage... There is a wonderful mechanism built into all females! It is an audible report of the progress of your assault. Listen for her to start breathing HEAVILY! This means that her defenses are weakening and her body is now ready for the next step of your Game Plan! You are now ready to attack her most private area! It is time to direct your efforts and energy to getting your hand into her pants, so you can start rubbing her cunt!

IT'S TIME TO GET DOWN & DIRTY!

Before you can get at her cunt, you must continue to undress the Bitch. This is a CRITICAL moment, because fear and panic may arise when she realizes just how far she has already allowed you to proceed! You must overcome any and all her objections at this point or ALL of your efforts will be lost! You may have to promise the Bitch that you will not go 'ALL THE WAY!' You just want to make her feel GOOD because you CARE about her and you er h her, and be sure to let her know that if she cares about you, she will let you rub her between her legs! When you first begin to rub her pussy, it should be done over her clothing, until the sensation of sexual bliss begins to further enhance her physical joy. Her breathing will become noticeably increased and she will reach the point where she will start to make moaning sounds. You should still be kissing, hugging and rubbing her while you start to loosen her pants. Assuming that the Bitch is breathing very heavily, and is now in FULL heat, you should be able to unbutton or unzip her lower garments so you can make enough room so you can comfortably slide your hand between her legs. First, gently, then firmly rub the hairy area above her cunt!

HOW TO PROPERLY FONDLE HER CUNT

You have now reached another crucial point in your molestation of the Bitch. There are two ways to rub a cunt: The RIGHT way and The WRONG way. If you do it the wrong way, and it is not satisfying to her, or even worse, if you cause her any pain, you can TOTALLY forget about getting laid! The very first step is to get her legs spread far enough apart so that her cunt is accessible to your hand. Curl your hand into a fist with your middle finger sticking out and reach down between her legs and gently slide it upward. Doing this will accomplish several different things. First, it will separate her cunt hairs. If you don't get them separated, it will be painful for the Bitch, so make sure you do it enough times so that your finger slides smoothly from the bottom to the top of her cunt. It will also open her cunt lips, and it will expose her clitoris (clit) so that you can start to rub it. As your finger travels from the bottom of her cunt lips to the top, you will notice two things. First her cunt will be wet. Second at the top of her cunt lips there will be a piece of skin that slightly hangs out or may even seem a little bit swollen. That is her Clit! That is the magic button of her pussy! Take two fingers and slide them back down to her cunt lips and insert them just far enough into her cunt to get them wet. Now slide them back up to her clit and rub it from side to side. Do not rub it up and down! You will know when you are doing it right, because the Bitch will start to groan with extreme PLEASURE! You may also alternate by rubbing in a circular pattern. Keep in mind that the Bitch is getting close to achieving an ORGASM (Getting her rocks off). At this moment, if she hasn't already done so, take her hand and place it on your prick so that she can start to give you mutual pleasure. Be sure to whisper to her 'OH GOD! LOOK AT HOW HOT YOU HAVE MADE ME!' This will enhance her sexual and animal desires even more! Let her know just how WONDERFUL your body is beginning feel. Keep rubbing her Clit, and keep kissing and caressing entire body. The moment as soon as she finishes getting her rocks off, keep hugging and kissing her! Reassure her about how much you love her and what a wonderful experience you enjoyed with her. Do NOT let her feel guilty about it, because the BEST is about to happen! You are now going to try to FUCK this HOT little Bitch!

HEADING FOR HOME PLATE

If you have properly followed ALL of the steps, there is no reason that the Bitch will refuse to let you FUCK her. After all, you serviced her well, and it is now time for her to repay you for what you did for her. If she hasn't already unzipped your fly and pulled your prick out, do not hesitate to do it for her. Take her hand and wrap it around your cock, and show her how to move it up and down so that it feels best for you. Do not let her rub it too much, because you will soon need it for BIGGER and BETTER things. While the Bitch is rubbing your cock, you should be rubbing and squeezing her tits, and again rubbing her pussy. By now, her clit is very sensitive, so you should now insert one finger directly into her cunt and concentrate on an area often referred to as the 'G' spot. It is inside her pussy and since pussies are like snow flakes (no two are alike) the 'G' spot can be located almost anywhere inside. You will need the Bitch to inform you when you have located her inner button.

INSERTING YOUR PRICK INTO HER PUSSY

It is now time for your reward if you followed your game plan properly! By now this Bitch should be BEGGING to get fucked, but if she isn't, do not dismay! It doesn't mean that you won't get laid, it just means that you may have to use a few TRICKS of the trade to get what you want from her. You should now have the Bitch totally undressed from her waist down. This means that her pants, pantihose and undies should be totally off of her body! If she objects to this simply assure her that this Many younger females have an extremely tight pussy, so the SECRET to being able insert your cock into her is LUBRICATION! Most inexperienced females are afraid of having their cunt soaked with things like baby oil, so the next best item that you have is your spit. While you are hugging her with one of your arms, discreetly put as much spit as you can onto the fingers of your other hand, and smear it all over her cunt. Get her pussy as juicy as you can, so that penetration will not be a problem. The next and final step is really easier that you would think. Simply hug the Bitch and pull her as close to you as you can. Make sure that you slide your leg between her legs as you do this. Your body should now be laying directly on top of her. Without any hesitation, you should slide your other leg between her legs, and spread hers far apart! Now is the EXACT time to lunge your cock forward toward her warm and wet hole! You probably will have to direct your cock with your hand until you find the opening of her gash. Just move your cock up and of the way in! By now, the Bitch may object to getting fucked, but there is nothing she can do or say about it. To alleviate her from having a panic attack, simply assure her that you PROMISE not to CUM inside of her. Help her to forget her fears. Ask her about how GOOD her pussy is feeling. Ask the Bitch if you are humping her too hard. Keep the humping rhythm going at a pace that she seems to enjoy. If she is not humping back, simply slide your hand under her ass and pull her toward you each time you thrust forward into her. She will soon understand what she should be doing to mutually please and satisfy both you and her. Remember that a woman's cunt gives her the same amount of PLEASURE that a prick gives a guy, so sensual pleasures are received by both you and the Bitch.

HOW TO PROPERLY FUCK A WOMAN

Fucking a woman properly is a complicated process. It is much more complex than just shoving your cock in and out of her cunt until you blow your load! If you fuck a woman properly, she will BEG for it again and again. You can turn a Bitch into your personal sex slave once you have mastered the art of sexually satisfying a female. The most important asset that you can use when you are fucking a Bitch is 'CONTROL'. Your prick rubbing inside of her cunt will give the female an orgasm as strong and powerful as a male! Believe it! If you stuff your prick into some Bitch's pussy and blow your load in thirty seconds, I can guarantee you that you will never fuck that Bitch again unless she has recently had Electrical shock treatments. The secret to fucking a Bitch properly is simply to keep humping, fondling, and kissing her until she CUMS! Yup! Broads CUM too, just like guys, but they can CUM more than once! If you keep fucking a Bitch, she will CUM three, four or five times! It may take her a couple of minutes between each orgasm, but it WILL happen if you keep fucking her! If the word 'CONTROL' comes into play.

HOW TO PRACTICE CONTROL

Control simply means preventing yourself from CUMMING. It isn't easy. But it can be accomplished by two different methods. The first method is physical. When you start to get the feeling that you are about to CUM, you should FORCE yourself like you are trying to PISS. It isn't easy, but it works. Your prick is HARD so you won't be able to piss, but the bodily function of straining to piss will send a message to your BALLS that you don't to 'SHOOT YOUR WAD' yet. The second method to prevent you from CUMMING is mental. This means that you have to STOP thinking about what you are doing, and think about something that has NOTHING to do with sex. Think about a problem or some situation that you are currently dealing with. Get your mind off of the fact that you are having sex because it will only excite you, and that will make you cum. CONTROL is the 'SEXUAL SECRET' to being THE GUY that every Bitch wants to LAY! Once you have mastered this technique, you will DESIRED by every Bitch who has heard about your STAYING powers, and believe me, Bitches do gossip about shit like this, so your sexual reputation will rapidly grow!

YOU ARE NOW READY TO BLOW YOUR LOAD!

You are now humping and thumping your Bitch. She has CUM several times and it is now time for you to 'BLOW YOUR LOAD', but you must first ask the Bitch if she is currently taking Birth Control pills. If she is, Go for IT!!!

Re:HOW TO GET A FEMALE TO LET YOU FUCK HER! (0, Offtopic)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095847)

I'd hate to see this guy trying to give advice on Identity Theft

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (4, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093577)

From the AP article: "The Federal Trade Commission has said about 3 million Americans have their identities stolen annually." And this study covers 517 cases over 7 years (2000-2006). I'm sorry, but I can't see a study of 517 cases during a period of approx. 21 million crimes providing really useful data.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (4, Funny)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093651)

Team Leader: Mr. Cheney, please calculate our chances of successfully finding the correct identity theft information from our study of 517 obscure cases of random WMDs in Iraq this time.

Mr. Cheney: 0.0001273% repeating, of course

Mr. Bush: G.DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUB-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABUSH!

PEW PEW PEW PEW!

Team Leader: Damnit, G.Dubya!

Mr. Bush: Tacos rule!

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (3, Informative)

hchaos (683337) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093855)

From the AP article: "The Federal Trade Commission has said about 3 million Americans have their identities stolen annually." And this study covers 517 cases over 7 years (2000-2006). I'm sorry, but I can't see a study of 517 cases during a period of approx. 21 million crimes providing really useful data.
The 99% margin of error on this study is about 5.5% (e.g. there is a 99% chance that the real percentages are within 5.5 points of the reported percentages). If the sample size were 1000, we would see a margin of error of 4%, and a we'd need a sample size of 10,000 to give us a 1.2% margin of error. One of the things that you learn if you ever take a statistics course is that, regardless of your actual population, you just don't get much better results when your sample size increases beyond a few hundred.

You're making a poor assumption (4, Insightful)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093943)

The 99% margin of error on this study is about 5.5% (e.g. there is a 99% chance that the real percentages are within 5.5 points of the reported percentages). If the sample size were 1000, we would see a margin of error of 4%, and a we'd need a sample size of 10,000 to give us a 1.2% margin of error.
This assumes that the cases taken were representative of all cases in the United States, and were randomly selected out of the pool of available cases. Considering that the Secret Service only gets involved in certain cases of identity theft, this is probably an incorrect assumption.

Mod parent up! (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094193)

From the pdf:

Source of Data
The data for this study was collected from United States Secret Service closed
cases with an identity theft component which were opened and closed between
2000 and 2006. The staff at Secret Service headquarters selected the cases for
the research team, based on the primary and secondary case codes that Secret
Service uses to classify its cases.

That seems to indicate that only cases that had been SOLVED were used in this "study".

Of course, which case would be easier to solve?

#1. Someone in Russia stealing your ID via a keylogger installed on your workstation.

#2. Someone in your apartment building breaking into your mailbox.

Re:You're making a poor assumption (0, Flamebait)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094223)

Considering that the Secret Service only gets involved in certain cases of identity theft...
If it is a poor schmuck who got screwed out of college by reason of the economic polices of Reagan and his successors, why should the (Waffen) SS get involved? Poor schmucks are of no consequence; they are either cannon fodder or prison fodder (remember Bernie S?). Now let the same situation befall anyone who 'made something of themselves'. One would think that the (Waffen) SS is out to save the world from Megaton BinLaden.

One of the leading causes of identity theft is when people leave their computer at the curbside for pickup with the hard drive unwiped. Not only does that broadcast to all who see the box on the curbside "COME AND GET IT!", but there is the (Oh my Gaia!) greater offense of POLLUTION!

#! No rules are allowed.

Re:You're making a poor assumption (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094707)

One of the leading causes of identity theft is when people leave their computer at the curbside for pickup with the hard drive unwiped. Not only does that broadcast to all who see the box on the curbside "COME AND GET IT!", but there is the (Oh my Gaia!) greater offense of POLLUTION!
Oddly enough, the laptop I use on trips I got in that exact way. And, no, they hadn't done anything to the hard drive when I picked it up, either...

Re:You're making a poor assumption (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096355)

Oddly enough being the kind of person I am I don't see why anyone would ever get rid of any part of a computer that works. Heck, I've got chipsets that are almost as old as me (a VIC-20, yes, a VIC-20).

Re:You're making a poor assumption (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#21097059)

I don't think the tweakers around here know how to boot up a computer. All the identity theft I've seen is pretty lame, mail box theft sort of stuff. Few crimes are committed by sophisticated Hollywood-fantasy thieves. (And fewer are solved by competent Hollywood-fantasy police people.)

Re:You're making a poor assumption (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#21098381)

Slowly the banks are realizing this and giving the option to send via email/web only (often under the guise of being 'environmentally friendly'. Short lived SSL transaction > completely unencrypted, unprotected snail mail left outside in the dump for a week (the rubbish collection is going to bi-weekly soon so make that two weeks).

Unfortunately mastercard appear to be the last of mine to do this... all the other cards were very happy to stop sending me paper. I had my mastercard number swiped by some local idiot crawling through the dump. Luckily it was rather easy to prove it wasn't me that had bought an expensive holiday in Switzerland on a card that was almost never used...

Re:You're making a poor assumption (1)

hchaos (683337) | more than 5 years ago | (#21105267)

This assumes that the cases taken were representative of all cases in the United States, and were randomly selected out of the pool of available cases. Considering that the Secret Service only gets involved in certain cases of identity theft, this is probably an incorrect assumption.
No, I'm not making really making that assumption. My only point is that a sample size of ~500 is valid for this kind of study, regardless of the population size. The validity of the sampling is another story completely. If you're taking a skewed sample, a sample size of 100,000 would be just as worthless as 10.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#21100045)

One of the things that you learn if you ever take a statistics course is that, regardless of your actual population, you just don't get much better results when your sample size increases beyond a few hundred.
My understanding is that this statistical quirk holds true for women as well.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093991)

Lets take 100 cases of identity theft from silicone valley. Now lets take 100 cases of identity theft from bucksnort, arkansas. I bet th

You can take smaller samples only from a homogenous larger sample. Fact is that the 3 mil overall represents some extremely different circumstances, and a study would need to take representative samples from each demographic to insure an accurate result. However, we only have samples from the demographic of people who involved the secret service.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094153)

From the AP article: "The Federal Trade Commission has said about 3 million Americans have their identities stolen annually." And this study covers 517 cases over 7 years (2000-2006). I'm sorry, but I can't see a study of 517 cases during a period of approx. 21 million crimes providing really useful data.

A fine product of the US education system I see. Stats was your major?

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095419)

A fine product of the US education system I see. Stats was your major?

So, if you didn't major in Statistics, you're not allowed to distrust them? 517 was the number of cases the agency closed in a 7 year period. This was not a representative sample of all cases from all law enforcement agencies dealing with this problem. It was all cases handled by one specialized agency.

And furthermore, let's talk statistics. There are like 100 things I can do that will statistically reduce my "chance of death" by 10%. How the fuck can I reduce my chance of death? Statistically, based on ALL available data, my chance of death is 100%! All these statistics do is tell me that if I quit smoking now, my chances of dying in the next 10 years go down by 40%. Now that doesn't mean I go from a 100% chance of death to a 60% chance of death. As a man in his 30s, it means my chances of dying go down from about 15% to 9%. That 9 percent includes drunk drivers, gang bangers, suicide bombers, tainted meat, crimes of passion, poisonous snakes, chainsaw accidents, unexpected heart attacks, and 18 types of cancer that smoking doesn't much influence one way or another.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096203)

So, if you didn't major in Statistics, you're not allowed to distrust them? 517 was the number of cases the agency closed in a 7 year period. This was not a representative sample of all cases from all law enforcement agencies dealing with this problem. It was all cases handled by one specialized agency.
The only thing that matters is 517 is a random sample. If it isn't sufficiently random then you can't conclude much but a random sample 517 is sufficient to draw some correlations, patterns, data, or even some conclusions depending on the data. Merely stating 517 / 21 million is not sufficient to dismiss it.

And furthermore, let's talk statistics. There are like 100 things I can do that will statistically reduce my "chance of death" by 10%. How the fuck can I reduce my chance of death? Statistically, based on ALL available data, my chance of death is 100%! All these statistics do is tell me that if I quit smoking now, my chances of dying in the next 10 years go down by 40%. Now that doesn't mean I go from a 100% chance of death to a 60% chance of death. As a man in his 30s, it means my chances of dying go down from about 15% to 9%. That 9 percent includes drunk drivers, gang bangers, suicide bombers, tainted meat, crimes of passion, poisonous snakes, chainsaw accidents, unexpected heart attacks, and 18 types of cancer that smoking doesn't much influence one way or another.
So you're one of those "me hate science because I smartest" types? Most studies come up with correlations. Often weak patterns which then get blown up by the media. You can take the advice or not, with the media new advice will come along in a week. General trends look like a more traditional diet, lower calorie consumption, moderation of of all habits, and plenty of protected sex lead to a fairly long and likely fulfilled life. If that is not for you, fine. Please continue your smoking, chronic burger munching, promiscuous unprotected anal sex with rodeo clowns, and heroin habit.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 5 years ago | (#21101491)

The only thing that matters is 517 is a random sample. If it isn't sufficiently random then you can't conclude much but a random sample 517 is sufficient to draw some correlations, patterns, data, or even some conclusions depending on the data. Merely stating 517 / 21 million is not sufficient to dismiss it.

Really? Let's say you're looking at 7 characteristics of the crimes and each has 3 different possibilities. That gives you 2187 different variations. And at 2187 variations, given an even distribution among 21 million instances, you can have 9602 instances of *each* variation. Yet even if the distribution is even and the sample is sufficiently random so it produces no duplicates, prove to me that a sample of 517 events will give sufficient insight into all 2187 possibilities in a set of 21 million instances.

And saying "So you're one of those 'me hate science because I smartest' types?" or suggesting I don't understand because I haven't obtained a degree in statistics just reinforces my subject line, a partial quote of: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Re:Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 5 years ago | (#21102647)

Really? Let's say you're looking at 7 characteristics of the crimes and each has 3 different possibilities. That gives you 2187 different variations. And at 2187 variations, given an even distribution among 21 million instances, you can have 9602 instances of *each* variation. Yet even if the distribution is even and the sample is sufficiently random so it produces no duplicates, prove to me that a sample of 517 events will give sufficient insight into all 2187 possibilities in a set of 21 million instances.

And saying "So you're one of those 'me hate science because I smartest' types?" or suggesting I don't understand because I haven't obtained a degree in statistics just reinforces my subject line, a partial quote of: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."
Lets draw a distinction here, that quote "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." is an emphasis on how people can use statistics to distort the truth. Individuals like Frank Luntz are very good at using it this way. However statistics itself is not at fault it's the generally low level of mathematic literacy that is at fault.

Case in point: The size of your sample varies with the confidence level you want and the margin of error that you will accept. The actual population size is not a significant factor. For some studies if the trend is strong enough a sample size of 30 is sufficient even if the total pop is 100,000,000. If the trend or trait is subtle you may need more samples as the margin of error is as large or larger then any pattern you discern. Your "characteristics" is a irrelevant as a sample of 517 out of 2187 possibilities will still give information on frequency etc... If your results lead to 517 separate variations of those 7 characteristics then indeed your study has advised you to get a larger sample size. But most studies look at much fewer then 7 variables or characteristics at a time. Dismissing it because it's not a significant % of cases underlines a significant misunderstanding of statistics making you part of the problem with "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." (As others have pointed out mroe eloquently then I)

If a sample is random and the data gives a pattern that is significantly stronger then the error margin then it says something. The conclusion may be distorted but you can't write off a study merely on it's sample size when the sample size look adequate statistically. If they had a sample size of 7 then yes the sample size can be used to write off the conclusion, however 517 ought to be fine in most cases. 30-100 is usual for many studies. 517 is not too shabby. Now the real criticism (as I pointed out) is if it was random or not.

Good thing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21093579)

My mail slot goes straight to a shredder so I'm safe.

Yeah, until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21094293)

The identity thief sues you for endangering him when he sticks his hand into your shredder while trying to steal your mail.

But at least that only applies to the USA for the time being.

Re:Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21095613)

Thats why I install multi-layer infrared scanners in everyones mail slot. Scans all documents before they ever actually get inside.

Did they catch everyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21093699)

Maybe those who use high tech did not get caught?

Hmm... (1)

Thyrteen (1084963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093703)

Either tech for ID theft is on the decline, or hackers have seeded data to the secret service to make them look the other way! I cry Conspiracy! heh, but seriously, isn't this sort of flip-flop normal? It would always make sense to take care of it the easier way. And if computer security goes beyond the point of paper security, it's time to make the switch! It'll go back though, if the mail / dumpster maintainers start to see their faults.

Three words (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093713)

Use a shredder.

Three more (2, Funny)

ls -la (937805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093749)

And a fire.

Re:Three more (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093953)

Fireplaces and BBQs are your friend (depending on the paper being used, credit card applications can make for an okay firestarter for your grill - and they always make excellent kindling.) :-)

Re:Three more (1)

GuidoW (844172) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094219)

Burnt paper is often still decipherable, as long as it hasn't crumbled to ashes. And most of the time it doesn't do that on its own. Also, the winds from the fire will make larger pieces of half-burnt paper fly away in random directions faster than you can catch it.

If you really want to make sure, you'll have to think of something else.

Re:Three more (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094733)

Well, if you shred and burn, the little bits that end up blowing to the four winds will end up being of no use to anyone, because the little bits will be mostly decipherable - any bits that remain legible should be no where near any of the bits of paper that were next to it in the original document - unless you packed the paper too tight of course.

Re:Three more (1)

slugstone (307678) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096589)

I would hate to eat the BBQ at this place since I do not like the taste of plastic.

Re:Three more (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21176115)

I don't burn the letters with the plastic windows in the BBQ. And, to be honest, I haven't disposed of any sensative letters in the BBQ, as I've got a fireplace. However, not everyone has a real fireplace (as opposed to an electric "fireplace" or a gas fireplace), so I figured I'd put forward an alternative.

Anyway, if I was using sensative correspondance for my BBQ, for cooking purposes, I'd use it as ignition material for a chimmney starter, rather then the sole combustible material for the actual cooking. That's what charcoal is for.

Re:Three words (4, Insightful)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093945)

A shredder doesn't help when a credit card company delivers a pre-approved credit card offer, or when the community college uses your SSN as your 'Student Identification Number' on a freshly printed postcard.

If Credit Card companies really cared about identity theft, then why do they mail out millions of unsolicited, pre-approved credit card offers every year? Even if someone signs up for the 'opt-out' list, some unscrupulous lenders will ignore the list and send unsolicited offers in the mail.

What percentage of identity theft occurs from someone stealing one of those little envelopes, I wonder.

Re:Three words (2, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094187)

What percentage of identity theft occurs from someone stealing one of those little envelopes, I wonder.

That's why, when you get 'em, you shred 'em.

Security is not absolute. It's always about probabilities. You reduce the chance of a breach, but you can never make it absolutely impossible.

Re:Three words (1)

zenofjazz (614733) | more than 5 years ago | (#21099149)

What percentage of identity theft occurs from someone stealing one of those little envelopes, I wonder. That's why, when you get 'em, you shred 'em. Security is not absolute. It's always about probabilities. You reduce the chance of a breach, but you can never make it absolutely impossible.
Yes, but that only works if you get to your mail BEFORE the people stealing your mail.

Re:Three words (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 5 years ago | (#21102055)

That's why, when you get 'em, you shred 'em.


I'm talking about the period before I get 'em, before Ipick up your mail and drop it in the shredder.

The unsolicited credit card offer sits in the mailbox until I return from work, or return from a long weekend.

Re:Three words (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#21104301)

1) locked mailbox
2) mail slot in your door
3) get mail sent to a p.o. box

If you don't do any of those things then the security isn't important enough to you.

Re:Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21108239)

How about not sending the unsolicited credit card offers in the first place, eh?

Re:Three words (3, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094783)

If Credit Card companies really cared about identity theft, then why do they mail out millions of unsolicited, pre-approved credit card offers every year?

This would be a really easy one to fix with just a bit of legislation really. The consumer credit contract should be like applying for any other major loan, consumer signature required for contract to be valid or the contract is void and all claims arising out of it are also void (i.e. the credit issuer or backer shoulders all of the responsibility for loaning out money to a phantom that they couldn't verify). This would place all of the risk for verifying identity and preventing theft on the credit card issuers. Some people might complain that this would make credit harder to get for "deserving borrowers" but really the last kind of credit that those marginal borrowers need is yet another unsecured, high rate, short term borrowing instrument (i.e. the credit card). So what if credit is a bit more expensive because we actually implement security and sound verification practices? The easy credit binges are what brought us the housing bust, the subprime mortgage meltdowns, the dotcom crash and a host of other financial disasters. Do you help an alcoholic with a hangover by giving him another drink? Do we have to give pre-approved credit card offers in the mail to everyone who is breathing and has a pulse? Who needs it?

Re:Three words (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096641)

Totally agree, it's an unfortunate trend nowadays in europe too. It is getting easier and easier to get yourself into such huge debts that it will cause serious problems.

Debt and loanfree since 1998 after paying my last uni. fees back to the dutch gov.

The only loan i would take would be for buying a house, because those are atleast backed by a physical object of reasonably stable value.

Re:Three words (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 5 years ago | (#21098581)

What really drives me crazy are the blank checks Discover keeps sending me. All the necessary info, right there, in a form that they can actually fill out and mail to someone as payment. The thief could be completely internet-illiterate and still max out my card for me, plus rack up the extra cash advance fees that come with using those checks.

Re:Three words (1)

cubes (152204) | more than 5 years ago | (#21098797)

Credit card companies don't care as much as you might think. The credit card companies have very little incentive to prevent or prosecute fraud.

Fraudulent credit card charges are either paid by the consumer (if the consumer fails to take the proper steps to dispute the charge), or paid by the merchant (if the consumer does dispute the charge). The burden of proof that the charge is valid falls on the merchant. If you dispute a charge, and the merchant does not have adequate proof that the charge is valid, the credit card company takes the amount of the charge back from the merchant -- and may also charge penalties or higher service charges in the future if a merchnt has too many "chargebacks".

Last year I, as a merchant, came across an order submitted to our retail website using a stolen credit card number. We contacted the owner of the card, who refused to cancel the card because it would be too much of a hassle and he knew he wouldn't be held responsible for the fraudulent charges anyway. We reported it to the credit card company, who refused to act unless the cardholder reported the problem. Same with the police in the city to which the thief tried to have the merchandise shipped. They all consider the cardholder the "victim" depite the fact that the merchant is the one who stands to lose money due to the fraudulent charges. I finally filed a complaint with the FTC against the credit card company, but nothing has come of that as far as I know.

Re:Three words (2, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094249)

That doesn't exactly prevent people from taking it out of your mailbox before you get to it first.

Re:Three words (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094301)

Get a mail box with a lock.

Re:Three words (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094497)

Get a mail box with a lock.

Sure, 'cause no one would think to pick [suite101.com] a mailbox lock, would they...?

Re:Three words (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094771)

Probabilities. [slashdot.org]

Re:Three words (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095879)

They used to run a spy series on Discovery channel. In it, they would describe a few of the braindead things people do. For instance "secretaries" would, instead of taking time to take classified documents to the shredder, tear them in half and toss them in the regular waste bin. The flaw in this should be blatantly obvious: instead of making it harder for an intelligence agent to acquire interesting information, they basically highlighted the most interesting bits!

If you put a lock on your mailbox, you instantly flag your mail as interesting. If you really need a lock, get a PO box at an actual post office. Where it's not only a federal crime to tamper with your mail, but there are actual officers of the law present for much of the day.

Re:Three words (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095145)

Good advice. But what about those who would steal from your mailbox? There was a story on /. not so long ago about exactly that happening (guy made a copy of the mailbox key, and idiot bank was sending account info in the mail!).

Identity theft on the Internet (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093739)

Why should I bother. I have access to your bank account in minutes, I just directly wire money overseas and start laundering them.
There's no even time to start stealing "identities" as it's understood in the classical sense.
 

You aren't taking the long view. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094253)

The big money is not in taking cash out of someone's account and hoping that they don't notice.

Here, you know what databases are, right? Think of a database of every possible Social Security Number.

Then, think about a criminal organization filling in the information they can find from various sources.

SSN - FName - LName - DoB - MomMaiden - Address - SpouseLink - Child1 - Child2 ..... BankAccnt1 - BankAccnt2 etc

Fill in enough of that information and you can use it to get info on the numbers you don't have filled in.

Now, they are you, as far as any financial institution is concerned. They can take out a second mortgage on your house. They can buy a car in your name. They can steal more from you than you have in any of your accounts.

They can even try to cash out your 401k. They are you.

Re:Identity theft on the Internet (1)

rk075245 (1160915) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095917)

You should bother about identity of theft on the internet. If not you will be the victim for the theft to wiretaping all your personal information. Be alert !!

Declining use of the Internet for ID theft? (3, Interesting)

olehenning (1090423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21093747)

That's odd. This summer in Norway, over 100 000 people got their identity stolen when web-services using the registry of all norwegian citizens (to perform tasks like credit check etc.) leaked personal information. I was one of the victims after 60 000 of those thefts happened through Tele2's website (and I have never had anything to do with Tele2 before). Funny thing is, Tele2 knew about the flaw for about 8 months (after several warnings from the Norwegian Data Inspectorate) before the attack and did nothing to fix it. With that kind of mentality and ignorance among people who have access to our personal information, why should I believe that it is declining? Because someone somewhere have statistics that might suggest that it is?

Alternate explaination: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21093961)

Only 20% of the cases involved use of the Internet, and such cases may be on the decline.


Law enforcement is becoming less and less effective at identifying and prosecuting electronic identity theft. After all, only 20% of thieves who got caught used the internet.

Re:Declining use of the Internet for ID theft? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#21097545)

What does a company have to do to get the registry of all norwegian citizens? If I start a little reseller shop, can I get one? Isn't the system to give these data to companies in the first place flawed by design?

Re:Declining use of the Internet for ID theft? (1)

olehenning (1090423) | more than 5 years ago | (#21100409)

We've actually discussed this at university. There's something clearly wrong about handing out access to everyone who wants it. A Ph.D. student and a professor who wrote an article on the vulnerability before the attack on Tele2 actually took place spoke with the people in charge of the registry, and the people they spoke to were quite proud of the fact that they had given access to 1400 or 1700 or so different businesses. There's something disturbing about that, and it's clear that a lot of people need to be educated about the dangers.

You could probably raise questions about the practices of all the involved parties in the theft, from the article discussing the vulnerabilities, to the registry to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate who might have been a tad too polite when informing Tele2 about the vulnerabilty (like I mentioned earlier, they knew about the flaw for 8 months before the attack) to the people who actually wrote the software used (among them, a 16 year old kid inspired by the article). The contract businesses have with the registry however, states that no information they have access to, can be given to a third party. That's where Tele2 failed and they were even in violation of Norwegian law in doing so.

Norwegian Birth Numbers are not secret. The structure of these numbers is known, and it's trivial to generate valid numbers. The problem lies in the fact that a lot of organizations and governmental organs choose to use it as an authenticator rather than an identificator, which is it's intended purpose. By using the generated numbers, it was possible (and still is in some cases) to aquire a wealth of additional information about an individual (or 100 000). That's clearly the wrong way to use the numbers, and it's a flaw that's seen everywhere, from private businesses, to official governmental services.

You can read more if you want, in a short draft from an article about these kinds of attacks here. Your point is discussed in section 2.2:
http://www.nowires.org/Papers-PDF/idtheft_draft.pdf [nowires.org]

punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21093941)

"*just* 51% of convicted ID thieves were sent to prison"

Why exactly would you want to maintain a non-violent criminal in a prison anyway? What societal benefit could possibly justify this?

Re:punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21094149)

Why wouldn't you want them thrown in prison for some period of time? Obviously not their whole lives, but at least a year or two.

Drug users spend decades in prison for "crimes" that don't hurt anybody. These ID theives seriously fuck up other people's credit and finances, yet they get off with a slap on the wrist.

Re:punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21094377)

> Drug users spend decades in prison for "crimes" that don't hurt anybody.
> These ID theives seriously *--- up other people's credit and finances,
> yet they get off with a slap on the wrist.

So make them repay the losses they caused (to the credit companies and legal system), and compensate their victims reasonably for the inconvenience. If people's credit and finances still remain affected, it is the credit companies that should be made responsible for ensuring this is promptly rectified.

This punishment is not a slap on the wrist, but it does deliberately leave the thief more opportunity to still become a useful part of society, compared to accommodating the thief (at society's expense) to identify closely with serious criminals. Spare the space for those who cannot more civilly be prevented from continuing offence.

Effectively shuffling a few bits in a bank database is in no way comparable to deliberately physically hurting people. The fact that drug users are also punished disproportionately is a circular argument, not a justification.

Re:punishment (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 5 years ago | (#21099213)

1. Because you make the prospect of getting caught less pallatable for wanna-be criminals. Duh!
2. Because while in Prison, said criminal cannot commit more crimes.
3. Because Death by hanging would be too polemical for that cases.

Steal Their Identity Too (1, Funny)

jellie (949898) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094181)

If they're not so tech-savvy, I say we send out "V1@gr@ for Identity Thieves" emails en masse, and see who responds. Then we'll steal their info.

After all, all of the respondents must be identity thieves. Damn them!

Re:Steal Their Identity Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21094335)

We should nail the dorks whether or not they are id thieves - high time for some gene pool cleansing.

Racial/nationality/ethnic statistics? (1)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094393)

It would be interesting to see these, and see if I won a bet that they'd be either mostly 30s white men with part-Slavic ancestry or recent African immigrants.

Re:Racial/nationality/ethnic statistics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21104513)

You also forget the show Cops, and the occasionally mexican immigrant person who steals some poor homeowners stuff to go try and make it big. I'm not saying that I'm racist, but just a point to be made on who else does it. Then again. the SOB's that do this, do it for a high. Like Mr. Brooks, he was on it for the pleasure high.

Wrong Statistic (4, Insightful)

cale (18062) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094461)

Looking at the number of cases closed is the wrong statistic. In combating the problem of identity theft, or online fraud in the larger sense, what really matters are the actual losses associated with each case.

I don't really care if some mope dug through my dumpster, stole my credit card pre-approvals, and got caught using the fake card running up $200 worth of porn purchases. The case I worry about is the single criminal or criminal organization that systematically steals millions of pieces of credit card data and efficiently exploits each piece to the maximum extent possible.

If the investigation of each of those scenarios is one case then they have equal weight under the statistic used by the article. In terms of actually combating identity theft the latter example and the resultant prosecution is much more important and effective. Unless they discuss the loss amounts associated with cases of each case, this statistic, the conclusions based on it, and the entire article are missing the point and not talking about actually fighting identity theft and are instead talking about looking like you are fighting identity theft.

The other comments are completely on the money pointing out that this is only closed cases and the difficulty of actually closing an international investigation.

All in all another wholly misinformed article about the real threat of identity theft and online financial fraud.

worry.. (1)

RK074918 (1178649) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095363)

only 51% of the theft that has been caught to the prison. how do we know how many of them involved out there? if all of them are detected, then they definitely will get caught! that is just some of the prediction from the research. actualy it is very hard to solve. for me it is impossible for us to fully take care of them. even for the time being, i have no worried about this since i don't have credit card, but if i have, i will worry about these people will steal my credit card information and use it to enjoy the porno things!! damn man!!

Re:worry.. (1)

rk074499 (1178201) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095783)

what are u talking about? of course it is impossible to detect all of them..detecting criminal takes month or even years for big crime. Much worse if he is one of an important or high influential guy to the society. But techniques such as data mining and AI systems may help investigation to be easier. p/s: Im much worried if my credit card was fraud and there is no way to stop the fraud..what a lousy technology if that situation happened.

not too hard (1)

kryten250 (1177211) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094867)

to know what crimes to commit, robbing a bank or robbing a guy's ssn from the dumpster. At least there's only a 50/50 chance you're going to jail with one and 100% with the other. We'll only see this form become more popular...

Wow (1)

Roger_Explosion (709412) | more than 5 years ago | (#21094907)

The median loss from identity theft was just over $31,000, but in one case, investigated by the Secret Service's Dallas field office, the defendant spent millions on luxury vehicles and then managed to set up shell companies and defraud investors. Total losses: $13 million.

You have to admire his audacity.

No surprise... (2, Insightful)

amccaf1 (813772) | more than 5 years ago | (#21095191)

No surprise that identity thieves aren't big on using the Internet. I mean, think of the risks of their putting personal information out on the 'net... They could have their identities stolen!

Sample bias (1)

insecuritiez (606865) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096033)

Two major problems with these numbers. First, they cover 6 years in which technology has become significantly more pervasive. Second, they were done by the Secret Service which is not a generic computer crime organization. The study should have been about how the Secret Service still deals with a much higher percentage of physical identity theft than electronic even though electronic id theft has become a lot more common.

Identity Thieves Not Big On Technology (1)

tt077143 (1171977) | more than 5 years ago | (#21096101)

As we all know nowadays we can't run out from identity thieves since they are the ones who are concouring the technology world today.so, what we all have to do is just be careful in using this service.

Happened to me Yesterday! (2, Informative)

ender- (42944) | more than 5 years ago | (#21100111)

Interesting timing on this article. Just last night, my wife and I got a call from Discover, asking if we had attempted to use our Discover card recently. It just so happens that the ONLY thing this card is [well, was] used for, was the recurring monthly cost of XM Radio. Other than that, we don't use the card at all.

It turns out that at 9:24PM EDT last night, someone tried to buy $986 worth of crap at a Walmart in Jacksboro, TN. I live in Dallas. So it was definitely not myself or my wife. Thankfully, the charge was declined. Someone had also made a whopping $2.51 purchase at some online computer store which I had never heard of. I don't know what kind of nothing they bought, but that usually wouldn't even cover shipping.

What we think happened is this. Our current cards are set to expire at the end of this month. We both still have our cards, so most likely, someone snagged my replacement card out of the mail. Discover says they did send out replacement cards, but we never got them. I'm still trying to figure out where the cards were mailed from, to see if it was somewhere near TN.

I'm guessing this thief isn't too bright. I'm think they weren't able to actually activate the card, which is why it was declined at Walmart. It may have gone through at the computer site because the card number is the same as my active card, and perhaps they don't ask for the 3 digit verification number on the back.

At this point, I'm working with the Walmart in question to have them save their security tapes on all the registers at that time. I'm also trying to get in touch with the online computer store to see if they have records on where the item was shipped. I'll give that info to the fraud group at Discover and hope for the best.

Even though it hasn't actually cost me any money, I want to nail that punk to a tree. Now we have to deal with having our account closed and switched to a new account. We take reasonable precautions to keep ourselves, safe, but you just can't protect mail you haven't even received yet.

Re:Happened to me Yesterday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21100315)

Most likely the $2 charge was just a test to see if they could make the card work. It probably wasn't for a physical object to ship to them, but some cheap download software ("Top 100 bland clipart collection!") or ebook or something.

Re:Happened to me Yesterday! (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 5 years ago | (#21104501)

Most likely the $2 charge was just a test to see if they could make the card work. It probably wasn't for a physical object to ship to them, but some cheap download software ("Top 100 bland clipart collection!") or ebook or something.
Well I've looked at the site. They don't have software downloads but they do have a $2.00 USB cable. Don't know about shipping costs.

I called the company. It sounded like some Chinese lady working out of her house. I had some trouble understanding her, but she said they had like 1000 fraudulent order attempts in the month of September, and that nothing was actually shipped.
You have to create an account to place an order, so I tried to see if she could get that information. I know it was probably false if it was a test charge, but there's a chance the guy was dumb enough to put his own address for shipping. Or maybe they have an IP logged. I don't think she quite understood what I was trying to accomplish though. She just kept telling me not to worry, that I wouldn't have to pay the charge. She also kept saying 'You have to be careful with your credit cards'. Well duh, as if I have any control of a card mailed to be before get gets delivered.

Makes me wonder, with as much money as is probably lost by all parties in stuff like this, why don't the CC companies send the new cards in some slightly more secure or traceable way? At least with some sort of tracking, they could say, 'ok, it got as far as a transfer station in crapstown, USA, but never got to the next step,' and have some clue of where to start looking for the morons that are doing this stuff.

Re:Happened to me Yesterday! (1)

maxconfus (522536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21108037)

"I'm still trying to figure out where the cards were mailed from, to see if it was somewhere near TN." In my area, it was the postal carrier that was snagging the cards out of the mail. so you know. it may help you backtrack. also just call those places to cancel/reverse the charges.

American post boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21101417)

Why are American houses' post boxes openable by anyone who cares to wander past? Here in the UK all our post boxes are in door/wall of the actual house, and I believe the postmen/women are required to ensure that mail is posted through them, so opportunist thieves cannot easily steal mail.
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