We’re all about multitasking here at Consumerist: as I write this, I am also running a load of laundry and petting a dog with my foot. For example. If you want to save time while running errands, though, don’t follow the lead of a man who combined robbing a store with applying for a job at them, leaving behind an application with his real contact information. [More]
Earlier this week, we posted about the public adjusters and contractors who show up at the scene of a house fire, often before all of the flames are even out. Reader Josh’s family has been through a fire recently, and he wrote in to warn people about a whole different set of entrepreneurs who might stop by your home after a fire…looters. [More]
When an alleged shoplifter was caught at a New Hampshire Home Depot store, loss prevention staff brought him to the front office to speak with him, which is the normal procedure. As police put it, though, “the subject became agitated” and fled the store: stabbing an employee in the hand with a pair of scissors, and losing police in a high-speed chase that apparently reached 100 MPH. [More]
Cops love finding iPhones at crime scenes because the phones carry so much priceless data about your usage habits, or as the cops call it, evidence. That email you typed months back about feeling stabby when you drink? It’s still there because there because the iPhone captures everything you type to help fuel its spellcheck abilities—even emails you thought you deleted. And that’s not all. [More]
So, Darth Vader robbed a bank yesterday. Actually, it was just a guy in a Vader costume. How do we know this? Because the real Vader would have sent a minion, or just done the whole thing remotely, using the Force. Come on, people. [More]
Albert Gonzalez, the mastermind behind most of the multi-million dollar credit card breaches in the past few years, is being sentenced this week. (Feds are asking for 25 years.) Now his former accomplice, Stephen Watt, has told Wired that while Gonzalez was busy stealing and selling credit card data he was also being paid under the table by the U.S. Secret Service to inform on others, earning as much as $75,000 in cash annually. [More]
The Secret Service has apprehended an alleged ring of ATM skimmer crooks in eastern Massachusetts. The group set up skimmers with pinhole cameras on Bank of America and Citizens Bank ATMs in the greater Boston area. According to authorities, when one of the suspects was caught, he had almost $100,000 in twenties in his possession. [More]
I’ve always found Apple Stores to be open and inviting. A team of thieves in New Jersey evidently agree with me. They smashed the front window of the Promenade at Sagemore store in Marlton, N.J. and cleaned out the display models. How long did it take them to steal 23 Macbook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod Touches? Thirty-one seconds. Yes, there’s surveillance video.
That Sears website exploit we posted about a couple of weeks ago was funny, mainly because it seemed more embarrassing for Sears than a true security risk. However, an independent security researcher had also discovered a more significant issue with the site—it allowed for an unlimited number of gift card verification attempts via an external script, so a criminal could use the site as a brute force method to identify valid gift cards for Sears and Kmart.
Hey dumb crooks, if you’re going to rob a place be sure not to wear a uniform with your company’s name on it and drive a van plastered with a nationally recognized logo. It makes it really easy for the police to catch you. On second thought, do just that, please.
It turns out our Social Security numbering system, which launched in 1936, isn’t very foolproof against some types of hacking. The New York Times reports that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University “used statistical techniques to predict Social Security numbers solely from an individual’s date and location of birth.”
Leo Gao, the co-owner of a BP station in Rotorua, New Zealand, applied for a $10,000 NZD ($6,142 USD) overdraft line from Westpac bank. An error by a bank staff member somehow put $10,000,000 NZD ($6,139,614 USD) in his account. He and his business partner haven’t been heard from since.
If you live in Fall River, Massachusetts, and work at one of the town’s Dunkin’ Donuts stores, watch out for fake employees! A woman has been walking into the DD stores dressed in an employee uniform and going into the back, where she promptly steals real employees’ purses. When confronted at one of the stores, the thief told the workers that “she was there to pick up beans for another store and a note should have been left on the manager’s door.” When the employees went to look for the note, she left.
Freddie writes that his friend was tricked by a phishing email. All the warning signs were there to tip off his friend—an email saying he needed to click a link, a suspicious url, a page asking for his login info—but he clicked and entered the info anyway. Please do not be like Freddie’s friend, who is now probably on the phone with the real Wells Fargo trying to get his account number changed.
Four Romanian nationals in Florida have been charged in a series of ATM skimmer frauds that targeted banks in New York City, Cicero (near Syracuse), NY, and Rochester, NY. They are charged with, among other things, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. According to the Syracuse office of the Secret Service, they stole $1.8 million overall.
Dan says over the weekend he discovered a card skimmer attached to the ATM at his local WaMu branch. He pulled it off and took photos of it.
All the clever shoplifting tricks in the world won’t save you from yourself if you decide to reveal your secrets on Dr. Phil. Last week a fraud task force raided the home of Laura and Matthew Eaton, who appeared on an episode in November to show the audience how they did it and to say they were going straight.