Saturday, August 04, 2007

Celebrities, including Paris Hilton become identity theft victims


(Courtesy of Flickr) Only the photographer knows who is behind the mask.

No one's identity is safe these days. It's just been reported that a lot of celebrity types, including Paris Hilton have had their identities jacked (stolen).

Tampa Bay's 10.com reports:
Investigators busted a massive identity theft ring allegedly operating out of a row home in Northeast Philadelphia Friday.

Police said the list of targeted victims includes celebrity names like Donovan McNabb, his mother Wilma, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Michael Vick and Microsoft founder Paul Allen.
Allegedly, a couple of fraudsters used change of address forms and had mail diverted to a Philadelphia address. They then used the information from the stolen mail to order checks and credit cards.

The article also states that one of the fraudsters was a former IRS employee, and that some of the information might have been stolen from their computers.

Considering the names they were using, one might wonder why no one noticed at the banks, credit card companies, or the post office when this scheme was first hatched?

In case any of these famous people are wondering why it was so easy to use such recognizable names, it might be because issuing credit cards, checks and (I'm guessing) address changes are approved by computers.

To demonstrate this, they might want to read a previous post I wrote:

Ever Wonder How Well the Credit Card Companies Protect Your Personal Information?

I did another post, where a cat was issued a credit card, also:

Should cats be issued credit cards?

According to the article, this case is still being investigated and the list of people compromised is likely to grow.

It will be interesting to see, if it is ever disclosed, how long this went on and how much money was stolen as a result of this!

10.com article, here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many times normal companies are victims of identity fraud also. I have heard of this on three occasions so far with ALV Group, Unified Investment Group and Primerica. Individuals pose as representatives of these companies and using various resources, cause damage to both the hard earned reputation of the company and the individuals themselves. The rule is never to invest more than you can handle and if it doesnt work out then you can learn form it without causing so much useless stress in your life. That's my theory anyway.

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