Archive for Criminal Identity Theft

An ID theft service you should take a look at

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by truthwillrise

Ada,OK based Pre Paid Legal Services has been around since 1972. Their popular Life Events Legal Plan,which allows it members access to top rated law firms nationwide to deal with any legal matter , are now  used by over one million families and tens of thousands of companies also offer their services as an employee benefit. This is what they are most known for but they have an identity theft service that, from what I have seen, is second to none.

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The Legal Implications of ID Theft

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by truthwillrise

Identity theft victimizes approximately ten million people annually. With financial identity theft, it has been drilled into most people’s heads to call the banks, credit repositories, and credit card companies to dispute charges and get their money back. However there is a legal implication of identity theft that you may not be aware of.

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What type of ID theft protection service should you get?

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by truthwillrise

As identity theft continues to escalate, many people are looking to protect themselves by investing in the myriad of identity theft protection services. In a previous article entitled, “Clearing up the id theft service picture”, I differentiated between the various types of identity theft services. However, with so many products out there it can be difficult to decide which one to purchase.

From personal experience, I know that dealing with identity theft can be an overwhelming ordeal. Many people do not know what to and even if you do, the amount of time spent in rectifying the situation can be tremendous. It is for these reasons that people obtain these services.

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An ID Theft Service You Need To Have

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by truthwillrise

Brandon King

Examiner.com

June 10,2010

Ada,OK based Pre Paid Legal Services has been around since 1972. Their popular Life Events Legal Plan,which allows it members access to top rated law firms nationwide to deal with any legal matter , are now  used by over one million families and tens of thousands of companies also offer their services as an employee benefit. This is what they are most known for but they have an identity theft service that, from what I have seen, is second to none.

Read entire article here

INCREASE IN MISTAKEN IDENTITY LANDING MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE IN COLLIER, LEE JAILS

Posted in General, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement, News with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by truthwillrise

By AISLING SWIFT
Published Saturday, November 21, 2009

NAPLES — When Barron Collier High School assistant football coach Johnny Drummond Smith was arrested Monday on a domestic battery charge, it would take several days to clear his name.

He was thrown in jail and held without bond, until defense attorney Michelle Hill provided Collier County Judge Vince Murphy with strong evidence: He couldn’t have been in Jacksonville when the crime occurred.

Murphy reviewed the evidence and Smith’s testimony and decided he should be released on a $1,000 bond. He walked out of jail Wednesday, but still was on leave from his job and faced prosecution in Duval County.

Friday, an assistant state attorney in Jacksonville dropped the case after investigators were unable to find Smith’s accuser and a witness, her sister.

For 38-year-old Smith, it was a quick end to a case of mistaken identity.

“Let’s say this happened to a convenience store employee who didn’t have all these people on his side, do you think this would have happened this quickly?” Hill asked. “The outcome would not have been the same.”

“We also got lucky with Judge Murphy,” she said. “Some other judges would have said, ‘A judge in Jacksonville set no bond, it’s no bond.’’’

For many, untangling a mixup or stolen identity takes weeks, months — even longer.

On Friday, Anthony David Falangas, 25, of North Naples, stood before Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt, charged with two counts of attempting to obtain a prescription by fraud, a third-degree felony.

It was a hearing tailored to quickly prove his innocence and end Falangas’ troubles. He’d been thrown in jail July 8 and posted $5,000 bond a day later, but faces up to five years in state prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Donald Day wanted to prove Falangas, a salesman, was at work when someone used his stolen identification to fill two Roxicodone prescriptions at Wooley’s Pharmacy on June 26. The man fled while a pharmacist verified the prescriptions.

But the prosecutor didn’t have the exact time and the pharmacy video wasn’t working that day, so the judge ordered the State Attorney’s Office to provide the records and scheduled another hearing.

It was Falangas’ fourth time in court.

“We were hoping the video would have busted it wide open,” Day said of an arrest he suspects is linked to a recent bust of a large prescription drug ring that used stolen identities.

Like Falangas, Smith’s photograph was in the newspaper. Smith’s story also was on the TV news, where he professed his innocence.

Many charged in mistaken or stolen identity cases lose their jobs or are suspended from work. They suffer embarrassment, depression and anxiety and must pay an attorney and a bondsman.

“The unjustified loss of even a moment’s liberty is a tragedy,” Murphy said Friday. “. . . Sadly, Mr. Smith can never recover what was taken from him, but in the context of an admittedly imperfect system, we were able to allow his release fairly quickly.”

■ ■ ■

Like Falangas, Smith had an alibi: He was at work.

Shayla S. Evans, 25, of Jacksonville, told police Smith grabbed her hair and dragged her down a staircase at 4:25 p.m. Nov. 13, 2008, kicked her and beat her, then slashed her with a knife. She said they’d had a yearlong relationship, but had broken up four months earlier.

Smith was arrested Monday night after a Collier County deputy conducted a routine check of license tags. He knew nothing about the battery and was allowed to make a few calls, then was booked into the jail to await a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In court, Hill asked Smith several questions to prove his innocence. Although Murphy granted a low bond, his release wasn’t quick.

“Jacksonville had to enter the bond into their system on that warrant and they couldn’t reach anyone in Jacksonville,” Hill said. “Thank God, we had a sergeant in the jail here who was a really nice guy and kept calling and calling.”

Duval court records list 209 cases involving Johnny Smiths, including two for Johnny D. Smith, who is only a month younger. Many have middle names or initials, but many are just Johnny Smith.

Evans’ sister believes she just wanted to protect her real boyfriend, so she picked a name, Johnny Smith, and pointed to a photo.

■ ■ ■

Hill said mistakes can occur when someone enters a name wrong in the national police computer, or someone, usually a relative, steals a name to avoid paying a ticket.

Two years ago, defendants with numerous aliases became such a problem in Collier that County Judge Christine Greider created a prototype legal order for judges to remove stolen names from court and county records.

County Judge Mike Carr had so many cases, he pushed the Sheriff’s Office to verify fingerprints of all defendants to confirm identities. He got The Florida Bar to change its professional ethics rules to force lawyers whose clients have provided false information to disclose it in court.

Hill represents a man whose brother used his name when he got a traffic citation.

“Of course, the brother didn’t go to court,” Hill said of the innocent man. “Then months and months later, he gets arrested on a warrant and can’t get out.”

Nowadays, Hill said, mistaken identity cases are straightened out more quickly due to technology.

Information is put through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s driver and vehicle information database which pulls up a driver license photo, Hill said.

Officials also can check fingerprints at the jail, which pulls up a photo and prior arrests if there’s a “hit.” That fingerprint check often reveals suspects who provide fake names.

Although technology helps unravel a mixup, it also prompted an increase in identity theft.

“It’s so perfected now,” Day said. “You could print out a nice ID on your computer. This is happening in every city in the U.S. You’d be shocked at how often it happens. The problem is it’s very difficult to resolve.”

Falangas’ license was stolen and his credit card information also was obtained, Day said, although it’s uncertain how or when.

“It’s very common for someone to call our office and say, ‘I’ve been charged with something in Tallahassee and I’ve never been in Tallahassee,” Day said.

Although a law went into effect a few years ago that requires law enforcement officers to get a thumb print from drivers who don’t provide a license, Day said it’s not always done.

“That law was to protect us,” Day said. “I’ve had clients who have had nine-page driving records in places they’ve never been.”

■ ■ ■

In July 2006, Theodore William Wuschke sued then- Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter and Deputy Charles H. Smith after he was arrested and thrown in jail after a routine traffic stop on July 7, 2002, because his name was an alias used by Robert James Mickens.

It was the second time in less than a year the 38-year-old Golden Gate man had been arrested and jailed on the 1993 warrant for a probation violation, according to his lawsuit in U.S. District Court, which said Wuschke didn’t have the tattoo on his right ankle that Mickens had.

The lawsuit accused Hunter of false arrest, false imprisonment and willfully failing to update inaccurate information in his agency’s computers after Wuschke’s first arrest on Oct. 1, 2001.

It was settled about a year later for $50,000.

“They made sure that wasn’t going to happen again,” said Wuschke’s attorney, Michael R.N. McDonnell of Naples, who said Wuschke had no prior convictions. “The poor guy was so upset. He was pleasant about it the first time. He understood it was a mistake.”

■ ■ ■

Jill Lennon, courts director for the Collier court clerks office, said people often come to the courthouse to say they received a notice their license was being suspended for something they didn’t do.

“We help and go above and beyond because that person is a victim,” Lennon said. “We walk them over to be fingerprinted at the Sheriff’s Office and to go to the State Attorney’s Office to straighten it out.”

Usually it’s a relative, she said, or the victim suspects someone and can’t prove it. Deputies try to find the real suspect, she said, but sometimes they can’t, “so we change them to John Doe in our computer.”

Scroll through the Collier Court criminal records at http://www.collierclerk.com and you’ll find 38 John Does and two Jane Does.

“There are people who have been arrested over and over again in multiple counties they’ve never been in,” she said. “They carry paperwork in their vehicle to prove they’re not that person.”

* * * * *

For information on identity theft and how to correct credit card or driver license identity theft, go to: http://www.flhsmv.gov/idtheft.html

Unfortunately, cases such as these are becoming far too common. Identity theft is a serious problem.
You can also learn more about identity theft, please go to http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62. -truthwillrise

Ex-Informant Charged With Largest Credit Card Heist in US

Posted in Business, Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by truthwillrise

y Erika Morphy
E-Commerce Times 
Part of the ECT News Network 
08/18/09 1:55 PM PT

New charges have been brought against a hacker already awaiting trials in two other cases of identity theft. In the latest indictment, 28-year-old Albert Gonzalez is accused of participating in the theft of 130 million credit card numbers. Two others are charged with conspiring in the crime.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, a hacker already in jail awaiting trial for what was deemed the largest identity theft in the U.S., has apparently topped himself. Along with two unnamed coconspirators, Gonzalez has been indicted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey for an identity theft that trumps the previous record-setter: 130 million credit and debit card numbers stolen over a two-year period, from 2006 to 2008.

At one point, Gonzalez was working as an informant with the U.S. Secret Service to hunt hackers, while at the same time allegedly stealing data.

Storied Resume

In August 2008, the Department of Justice fingered Gonzalez as the ringleader of a hacker gang that stole 40 million credit card numbers — then believed to be the largest single case of hacking theft. Consumers at T.J. Maxx, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority and OfficeMax were victimized in that raid. Those charges were filed in the District of Massachusetts. Gonzalez will face them in a trial scheduled to begin in 2010.

In May 2008, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York charged Gonzalez in connection with the hacking of a computer network run by a national restaurant chain. Trial on those charges is scheduled to begin in Long Island, N.Y., in September 2009.

This latest episode is also the most audacious, according to the Department of Justice. The Miami-based Gonzalez and two Russian accomplices hacked into corporate databases five times over a two-year time period, using a SQL injection attack to target 7-Eleven, Heartland Payment Systems and Hannaford Brothers, a Maine-based supermarket chain, among other companies.

The three allegedly hacked into the networks and placed backdoor access in the systems to allow them to revisit without detection in order to steal the data. They would then send the data to servers in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine for resale to criminals.

If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to 35 years in prison and US$500,000 in fines.

The Department of Justice did not return the E-Commerce Times’ call requesting comment in time for publication.

The fact that Gonzalez acted as an informant for the Secret Service and then turned around and played the government “is a common problem in law enforcement — but particularly acute in the prosecution of cybercrimes,” said Alexander H. Southwell, an attorney with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s white collar defense and investigations practice.

“That is because prosecutors and law enforcement are very dependent on using insiders to penetrate criminal activity,” Southwell told the E-Commerce Times. “These cases are hard to crack without somebody on the inside because of the nature of cybercrime.”

Informers have a tendency to think that because they have protection from the government, they get a free pass on anything else they want to do, he noted.

Familiar Environment

Apart from the James Bond elements of these cases, they’re much the same as other massive identity thefts. Despite episode after episode, the underlying breeding ground hasn’t changed. That environment is characterized both by the government’s patchwork approach to protection — which often allows perpetrators to escape undetected — and the reluctance of retailers to implement stronger security measures.

The United States follows a “sectoral” approach to cybersecurity, M. Peter Adler, an attorney at Pepper Hamilton, told the E-Commerce Times.

“This means that regulations and industry standards pertaining to information security may vary slightly for companies in healthcare, financial services, [firms that have] government contracts or that use payment cards,” he explained.

“Layer state laws on this, such as those in Massachusetts and California, and a company is left with a patchwork quilt of protections that are often not completely understood and that can result in security gaps,” said Adler, adding that what the country really needs is a unified and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that will keep up with the hackers.

The private sector must step up as well, said Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com.

“Credit card companies, banks and retailers … clearly make huge profits that trump the losses from fraud — otherwise, they’d do something to stop fraud,” Siciliano told the E-Commerce Times.

“Credit card fraud can be stopped dead with numerous technologies that make the data useless to the thieves,” he noted, “but until banks, retailers and the credit card companies adopt them, the bleeding will continue.”

The recession is not helping, either.

Even if the government were strongly pushing more protective measures, said Adam Levin, cofounder of Identity Theft 911, it would have to balance those against the inevitable legitimate purchases stymied by such measures.

Furthermore, state governments in the forefront of enforcement have been forced to cut back because of budget cuts, he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Ultimately, it won’t be the government that solves this problem, but ultimate regulators of our economy — class action attorneys,” Levin concluded

 

 

 

 

 

 

           This is just another instance of personal information being stolen and tens of millions are now potential victims of Identity              Theft. It once again goes to show people it is not what we are doing with our information, but what others do with that                      information that can cause plenty of trouble. If you are concerned that you may be affected by this latest breach, or just                        concerned about Identity Theft, please log on to http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62 or call 1-866-510-7907.

Identity Theft Victim Speaks Out About 16 Year Ordeal

Posted in Business, Economy, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement, News with tags , , , , , , , on August 15, 2009 by truthwillrise

 

 

JACKSONVILLE, FL — Like many of us, Ieshia Brown has heard of identity theft, but now she’s living it and says it is a nightmare.

Brown says,”It is terrible! My credit is ruined and now it has messed up my driving record.”

Brown says it started in 1993 with her driver’s license. Someone had stolen her ID and used it to get a license. “I’ve been in jail because of an outstanding warrant for worthless checks in my name and it wasn’t me,” says Brown.

Brown says that case was dismissed, but the problems related to ID theft continue to haunt her.

In February, because of the number of moving violations in her name, the state revoked her driver’s license and called her an Habitual Traffic Offender.

“I’ve had about ten tickets since driving all of those are by someone else, those are five pages of tickets,” says Brown.

In 1997, the DMV provided Brown with a letter showing that an imposter had used her ID to obtain a license. The state then placed a fraud alert on her driving record.

“I don’t know what to do to get it straight,” says Brown.

Brown says the fraud alert apparently did not help, and all she wants his her life back to normal.

“I want my license back and my driving record straight,” says Brown.

Until it is, if she’s caught driving she faces up to 15 months in jail, something she says she wants to avoid.

‘On Your Side’ contacted the Florida DMV. Spokesperson Ann Nucatola says generally if someone finds themselve the victim of identity theft, all they have to do is take a copy of the police report to the district office and request an adminstrative review.

Nucatola says given the lengthy history of problems with Browns driving license, they are now reviewing the case.

The Federal Trade Commission has tips on protecting yourself from identity theft and what to do if you’re a victim, CLICK HERE to find out more

 

For more information on Identity Theft as well as what you can do before you become a victim of Identity Theft, please call 1-866-510-7907 or log on to http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62 or http://www.greatworkplan.com/betterlife4u