Tuesday, May 24, 2005

How Deep Does Identity Theft Go?

A Nigerian, or maybe an Afghan was recently arrested in New York City for identity theft. He had identification stating he was from both Nigeria and Afghanistan. When he was arrested, he had notebooks filled with personal information, shopping bags full of credit card statements, stolen identification and eighty hotel keys.

Homeland Security has no record of him, but what name would they look under? He will likely be deported, but to what country can't be determined yet.


In this next story(click on above link), eleven members (nine illegal) of a Mexican gang based in California were arrested in a check fraud scheme. Images from digital cell phones were sent from several states across the country back to California to produce the fake identification. The story states that this is one "cell" of a major gang that has committed an estimated $50 million in check fraud.

The story fails to mention the name of the gang, but I've heard of a Mexican gang in California that has been doing this for years. At least, the method is the same where illegal aliens use fake identification to cash fraudulent payroll checks at banks and check cashing stores.

Recently, I wrote of a National ID bill that was passed along with more money for the troops in Iraq. This is going to be a "hot" issue and needs to be evaluated carefully due to the fact that many "privacy issues" will come into play. We need to evaluate this issue carefully in order to balance civil rights with protecting our security. In addition to this, we need to ensure that whatever we do is viable and effective. All too often, for every measure, the criminals come up with a countermeasure.

Perhaps in the end, the first article demonstrates that the penalties are far too light for these types of crimes. What scares me is that in both of these instances, an ordinary person can deduct that people involved in these crimes are highly organized.

Here is an earlier post on this: