Reader Lisa would like to ask the Consumerist hive mind for advice on cleaning up her recently hacked Gmail account. Here’s her story:
Late last week, discount grocery chain Aldi revealed that customers’ banking info may have been compromised by card readers that had been illegally tampered with at stores in 11 states.
We’d heard that credit card information can fetch as little as $1.50 on the open market, but we never really thought about what the experience of actually purchasing the info was like. Well, it turns out that buying a stolen credit card is a process riddled with fees. Who knew?
The last thing anyone needs when they’re out of work is to worry about the safety of the personal information they put on a job application. But the U.S. Attorney in Ohio has indicted a woman on allegations that she used this sensitive info to falsely obtain credit cards and run up a $115,000 tab.
Here’s a question for ya: If you were going to risk jail time by using stolen credit card information, what would you choose to spend the ill-gotten money on? According to police in Louisiana, the answer for two local men was to spend $10,000 dollars at Domino’s Pizza.
Long gone are mimeographs or photocopiers that used mechanical means to reproduce whatever document needed reproducing. Now, almost all copiers are also scanners, fax machines and rotisserie ovens (okay, so not that last one). As such, they contain some method of electronic storage that could possibly be used by individuals with shady purposes. That’s why a Congressman from Massachusetts has asked the FTC to look into just how risky it is to use these new-fangled machines.
Ten women are charged with using illegally obtained patient information from a Chicago-area hospital to rack up over $300,000 in fake credit card purchases at stores like Victoria’s Secret, Lowe’s and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
A federal court in Boston has sentenced Albert Gonzalez, the Miami computer hacker behind millions of dollars in credit card theft from national retailers like TJ Maxx, BJs, Barnes & Noble and more, to 20 years in prison for his crimes.
For several years, LifeLock has been so brash about their skills at protecting customers from ID theft that they not only drove around a truck displaying their CEO’s Social Security Number in public, they also advertised his SSN on TV ads. But that hubris has come back to bite them on the rear, as LifeLock has just agreed to a $11 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the bulked-up claims made in their ads.
Max Vision, the security consultant who was first sent to prison in 2001 for messing with the Pentagon, has now been sent to 13 years in prison for “stealing nearly two million credit card numbers from banks, businesses and other hackers,” reports Wired. The FBI took a renewed interest in Vision in 2006 after he successfully made a power grab on several competing black market ID theft websites. “I’ve changed,” Vision wrote in a letter to the court, and although he faced life in prison, he was given the shorter sentence partly because he’d cooperated with the government. With good behavior he’ll be back out in 2018.
Where does spam come from? Well, there are these things called botnets. They’re networks of hijacked computers that secretly do the bidding of their masters. Often, they send out spam. Comcast plans to offer an automated service that will inform you, within your browser, if your computer is behaving as if it has been compromised by malware.
Tucson, Arizona is hosting a community shred-a-thon in October, where private citizens can show up with boxes of sensitive data and have it shredded for free. Back in July, the Wall Street Journal looked at the growing trend of community shredding events as an example of how regular people are taking action to prevent identity theft.
If you’re still not shredding, locking, and canceling, maybe a giant graphic will get the point across. Follow these five tips and you’ll be well on your way to securing your side of things when it comes to ID theft.
Albert Gonzalez, a 28-year-old from Miami who was arrested last year and charged with leading “a worldwide ring that stole more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from major retail chains,” plead guilty today as part of a plea bargain. He faces up to 25 years in prison.