Monday, June 19, 2006

Diary of an Identity Theft Victim

I came upon an interesting series of blog posts by Julie O'Brady on her experience of becoming a statistic (one of 9 million according to the FTC) of identity theft.

Julie recounts the "trail of tears" a victim experiences - from discovery of the problem to finally clearing her financial name - and documents it in a series of posts.

In Julie's own words, here is her summary:

The months of June and July, 2005 meant that each day for me was back to Square One with my own personal investigation; i.e. doing research online, contacting every possible authority I could, and then working with the attorney general, private investigator, police detective, and finally postal inspector. I took it upon myself to prepare extensive documentation that I updated and shared with all the authorities and agencies working on the investigations.

To my knowledge, at the very least, the 2 suspects were apprehended by the senior inspector and another victim was identified and quite possibly spared the victimization of the Nigerians.The 2 suspects were college age students who had already secured fake IDs; were picking up lots of merchandise through the drop box; had been selling the merchandise on eBay and other auction sites; and then sending proceeds to the Nigerians who recruited them!

Here again - as Julie has aptly highlighted - only through a lot of "tenacity" was she finally able to get help from a postal inspector - who was able to catch two (possibly more) of the "growing army of Internet recruits" that more organized entities use to do their dirty work.

This highlights why greater efforts need to be made to go after the root sources of crime on the Internet. Since many of the recruits claim to be victims - all too often - there is no prosecution and since the "recruiters" are normally overseas, little is done from a legal standpoint.

Julie did take the time to write about this - and more importantly - didn't give up, which makes her worth of admiration. She also has put together a series of resources to help others.

For Julie's entire story, link here.

Here are some other examples, where organized entities use recruits (dupes) to commit crimes for them:

Cyber Gangs Luring Children to Launder Money

BBB Worker Takes Job Processing Fraudulent eBay Transactions


Julie Ann Brady said...

Ted, thanks for posting this article to your blog. I appreciate it as I would hope my experience might benefit at least one other person and help to nab a "crook" or "thief" before they victimize. When this unpleasant experience happened to me, I knew I would do everything within my power to take a proactive stand against these "thieves."

I applaud your efforts.


Jaguar Julie

Gary said...

Ted and Jaguar,

Thank you both for posting on this topic. It's fantastic info for awareness purposes: too many ID theft stories come across as anonymous scare stories, things that "happen to someone else". You've put it across in a personal way that makes people (including me) think "It could happen to me".


Anonymous said...

It is great to read an entry written from heart rather than just keystrokes. Thanks for providing great content.