Former Time Warner CSR Arrested For ID Theft

A woman in Cincinnati was arrested this week and charged with two counts of identity theft and two counts of theft, for allegedly stealing the credit card information of a customer who was paying a bill in November 2007. Time Warner fired her when the investigation started and it appears no other customers were affected, but it’s a good reminder to stay on top of your credit report at all times.

It’s alleged that while Jackson worked at Time Warner, she received a payment on a customer’s account through a credit card and kept the victim’s credit card numbers. This allegedly happened at a call center located in Blue Ash, according to a Time Warner representative.

In the following weeks, Jackson allegedly ordered items over the internet and over the phone using the numbers.

Investigators said Jackson had the items sent to her home, but it is not yet clear whether that led to her arrest.

Wait, she used the stolen info to shop and mail things to her own address? We’re going to allege that Jackson was an idiot.

“Former Time Warner Cable Employee Arrested For ID Theft” [WCPO News]

Comments

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  1. B says:

    Time Warner ought to have controls that prevent this sort of thing from happening. This would make me nervous about paying a bill with them over the phone in the future.

  2. scooterist says:

    I guess “smart” is not a pre-requisite if you want to be Time-Warner CSR.

  3. cybercjh says:

    I love stupid crooks!
    Don’t give her jail.
    Make her clean the side of the highways!

  4. statnut says:

    @andykay: Neither is moral, but I guess we knew that.

  5. @andykay: Judging from past experience, intelligence is a disqualifier at TWC.

  6. MayorBee says:

    Am I wrong for wanting to know how someone’s going to play “blame the victim” on this one?

  7. Wormfather says:

    Wow, just wow. For a second, I was impressed with law enforcment. Now I’m just disapointed in her association with the Human race.

  8. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @B: Time Warner ought to have controls that prevent this sort of thing from happening.

    Unless they take the human CSR out of the picture entirely, there is no way to completely prevent this kind of thing from happening. And being unable to talk to a human being when dealing with customer service makes customers in general very unhappy.

    Since they’re essentially stuck with human CSRs handling at least some of these types of calls, there is no way to completely prevent this kind of thing without resorting to ludicrously extreme measures like banning the use of pens and paper in the call center.

    This doesn’t seem like a particularly egregious lapse on the part of Time Warner. more like a reminder to everyone that you should always use the “virtual account numbers” or “shop safe” features of your credit cards when giving CC info out over the phone.

  9. bohemian says:

    This is why I never give call center people my card info. Most places have online payment options or a way to pay using an automated phone system so your putting your card number into their computer system via the phone.

    Someone needs to caption that picture “Would you give this woman your credit card information?”

  10. sir_pantsalot says:

    Good thing the CSR was here in America. Could you imagine trying to track down a guy named Mohamed(“Steve”) or Amal(“Mike”) somewhere overseas?

  11. RothRandom says:

    I second that idiot comment.

  12. @B: Like the T-mo sub-contracter that prevents paper and pens from being used? People lie, cheat, steal and everything else we have laws about. The proper vetting process takes place during the interviews.

  13. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Few companies have “controls to prevent this happening in the future.” Don’t kid yourself. And if you live in California, put a freeze on your credit. Everyone everywhere should check their bank balance and credit cards and credit reports frequently.

    P.S. I was notified that I was a victim of identity theft just yesterday, as I was in the final stages of my deadline for my newspaper column. No pressure, no pressure at all to finish my work!

    P.P.S. A guy at the DMV fraud division just told me Bank of America has the second worst data leaking, right after WaMu (they’re the tops in data carelessness).

  14. AD8BC says:

    “…but it’s a good reminder to stay on top of your credit report at all times.”

    This wouldn’t necessarily help you detect someone is illicitly using your credit card number.

    Checking your credit card account daily would help in this situation.

    That being said, check your credit report anyway.

  15. kyle4 says:

    I assume this is why MSN readers voted AOL the “Worst Customer Service in America.”

  16. Anah says:

    @Sir – I agree with your statement. It is pretty scary if the theft live overseas!

    Since January of this year; I have received 8 unauthorized charges in my credit card. And my bank isn’t very helpful! So please check your bank statements all the time.

  17. newfenoix says:

    I thought it was wrong to expect honest customer service!

  18. Wormfather says:

    BTW the heading Bad Customer Serivce is sensational. Do we know if the customer actually received bad customer service?

    /sarcasm

  19. B says:

    @TinyBug: They could allow customers to input the CC number via the telephone touchpad, even if the CSR has to send them to an automated place to do this.

  20. fluiddruid says:

    We had a fraudster in our call center that sent thousands of dollars of our own products to her home address. She’d just put in free orders with a fake name, but her address.

    Unsurprisingly, she was caught. Surprisingly, she had been doing it for years.

  21. merekat says:

    Yea Nati! Way to represent!

  22. ShortBus says:

    Bad Consumerist!

    “ID theft” is not the same thing as “fraudulent credit card usage.”

  23. jaydeflix says:

    I am not going to blame the victim, but, something did make me cringe.

    “Time Warner fired her when the investigation started”

    When it started? Now, sure, the end justified the firing, but, is this how you stand up for your employees? I mean, even a police officer is suspended without pay, not fired, until wrongdoing is proven.

    Don’t get me wrong. Were they right in firing her in retrospect? Sure. But, were you ever accused of something you didn’t do? Would you like to have been fired for it before they investigated? I just don’t like it, y’know?

  24. AD8BC says:

    Happened to me once — a waiter in Memphis stole my credit card number when I was there on business. I was able to track him down, he had items shipped in my name to his address. Police found notebooks full of card numbers in his house. He plead guilty (back then it was just “theft” not identity theft) so I didn’t have to go testify.

    A friend in college found a used credit card slip with a full name, card number, and expiration date. Used it to call phone sex lines from a phone booth. Was never caught.

    Both of these events were back before identity theft was the “in” thing (1993-1998). Back before address verification, 3 digit numbers on the back of your card, etc.

  25. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @B: They could allow customers to input the CC number via the telephone touchpad, even if the CSR has to send them to an automated place to do this.

    That’s about the only reasonable solution I can think of, too. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen that approach in reality. I suspect that from the corporate point of view the risk – a small number of customers being ripped off and a smaller number being financially ruined – doesn’t justify the expense.

    in the words of Tyler Durden:
    Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one

  26. sodden says:

    I’m surprised they caught her, even with her using her own address.

    Most credit card companies don’t bother. They just chargeback the vendor and even add a fee.

    Other than keeping your ssn secret, there’s not too much you can do about identity theft. I got hit with it a few years ago. Some jag opened up a bunch of store cards as well as maxed out my visa. Personally I have no interest in watching my visa bill on a daily basis and there’s no way I could know about the rest.

    As far as I know, the bastard never got caught, even though the stores probably had all kinds of camera footage. Likely the only way he would have been caught is if I had figured out how to track him down myself, and gave his address to the police.

  27. joellevand says:

    @B: Unfortunately, when companies put such controls (like no pen and paper out on the CSR’s desk; no cell phones on in the building/scrambling cell phone signals; etc) people complain then that the companies are stupid, totalitarian capitalists who just want to make life miserable for the CSRs.

  28. alice_bunnie says:

    @ShortBus:

    Consumerist was just quoting the article. She was charged with Identity Theft.

    I want to know why was she charged with Identity Theft? She only took the credit card numbers. Isn’t that just credit card fraud?

    I can’t stand it when prosecutors pile charge after charge onto people. Yes, they are criminals and should be prosecuted, but it’s not throw everything at them and see what sticks!

    ID Theft is a specific crime and now statistics about ID Theft will now be inflated because people like this are being charged with it, when this is not the crime the law was intended to be prosecuted by it.

  29. dragonfire81 says:

    There was on average, someone canned every couple of weeks at my call center for this very thing.

  30. aikoto says:

    “good reminder to stay on top of your credit report at all times”

    Or just get a credit freeze and don’t worry about it so much.

  31. parabola101 says:

    i’ve worked in the technology industry for about 18 years. in researching data security issues for a project, the stats show that consumers have REASON to FEAR internal employees for theft and related security issues. Most of the time its the employees that steal!! My advice, take as much responsibility as you can for your data. This means *not* storing banking information such as credit card info on a vendor/store website. ONE suggestion of many, is to ask for a new card about every six months so that your numbers change. Tell your credit card company that the magnetic strip isn’t working or something like that to get a replacement. They usually replace it for free.

  32. WBDFQ says:

    Makes me for OH so safe about paying my bills like this now.

  33. AndyRogers says:

    They need to really start making examples out of these people. The costs associated with pulling yourself out of an identity theft crisis, not to mention the stress and feeling of complete violation, far surpass what was normally stolen.

    My wife runs a call center and believe you me, those employees are watched like hawks when handling anyone’s finacials. Part of her business receives (cash) donations for various major charities… whenever an employee opens an envelope with cash – the ENTIRE process stops, and the cash is removed and locked up until deposits are made… it’s very serious business. My wife also runs backround investigations on ALL her potential hires at her own expense – you CANNOT play with people’s financials.

    ID Theives should be locked up for a long long time.

  34. mariospants says:

    People, I can’t stress it strongly enough: if you live paycheck-to-paycheck, max out your credit cards, run up against your overdraft every week and consistently pay your bills late, you will NEVER be a victim of identity theft.