Identity Theft Lesson from a Crook

One of the best ways to learn how to protect ourselves from becoming a victim of crime is to learn from the crooks themselves. The greater efforts we place on protecting our financial identity the less potential headaches we'll experience in the future.

With this example, we can learn from convicted identity theft crook Gregory Kopiloff from Seattle, Washington. He was just sentenced to 51 months for identity theft. By learning how he pulled it off you may identify additional ways that your information may potentially be a target.

How did he get the information to steal identities? He accessed information stored on computers from file-sharing networks. According to ComputerWorld.com; "From that data, he searched specifically for federal income tax returns, student financial aid applications, and credit reports stored on users' systems. He used the data to sometimes search specifically for federal income tax returns, student financial aid applications and credit reports stored on users' systems. He also used the data to screen potential victims based on their income levels and credit histories in order to identify the most credit-worthy people."

From this example it not only confirms the vulnerability of shared files on networks, but it also informs us that some crooks look to target those who have greater credit-worthiness.

If having your personal information on shared files rings a bell, I hope this information aids you as an anti-theft tip so you can protect yourself from becoming a potential victim of identity theft!

1 comment:

David said...

It is so easy to steal ones identity with todays technology. Another good tip is when you go to sell / recycle your old PC, be sure to buy a program that wipes the memory out, and overwrites any data stored with 1s and 0s. All your data (financial and otherwise) is still on the hard drive even if you can't see the files!