Saturday, October 07, 2006

Task Force Tackles Identity Theft in Southern California

U.S. Attorney Debra Yong Wang recently announced a series of arrests made by a previously undisclosed "identity theft task force" in Southern California.

In her own words:

"Your mail carrier, mortgage broker or even the server at your favorite restaurant may be to blame."

And there have been recent arrests to prove this:

Several servers at TGIF's, Cheesecake Factory and other restaurant chains were caught "cloning" debit and credit cards.

Mortgage brokers were caught running credit reports - and using the information to buy expensive merchandise and drugs. Of course - this was done at the expense of the people they compromised.

Postal workers stole refund checks and credit card information to sell to a pretty organized operation in Las Vegas.

At the news conference, William Atkins, of the Postal Inspectors said "I wouldn't let my credit card out of my sight."

He probably knows how easy it is for the average person to get a portable skimmer. As you will see, Inspector Atkins' advice is well-founded.

A criminal can find all the necessary hardware on eBay, see here.

And if you can't find it on eBay - a simple Google search leads to all sorts of possibilities, see here.

If you happen to notice this type of activity, Visa will pay you $1,000.00 for reporting it - if the person is convicted, here.

There ought to be laws against selling this to anyone over the Internet.

Since, I didn't have time to attend the press conference - I had to read most of this on-line. For more details, courtesy of the LA Times, link here.

(Card reader for sale on eBay)

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