Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Identity thieves become still more brazen

They are targeting the Forbes 400, says Information Week in an account of the breakup of a ring based in Russia.

In one case, where $1 million worth of stock was ordered sold from a Fidelity Investments account, a co-conspirator went to Fidelity's San Jose office with a counterfeit power of attorney to facilitate the transaction. The money was eventually traced to a Russian bank account.

The tactics employed were worthy of a novel.
The year-long investigation into the criminal conspiracy broke open when an investigator with the Manhattan District Attorney's Identity Theft Unit went undercover, taking on the online identity of a Klopov accomplice and pursuing an on-line relationship with him.

The DA's office reported that the undercover investigation revealed that Klopov created dossiers of background research on his targeted victims and even hired private investigators to provide him with additional information on his targets. He used on-line job hunting sites, such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, to recruit accomplices. The DA also noted that he provided his co-conspirators with fake identification and documents, background information on the identity theft victims, and even made all their travel arrangements, including reservations at five-star hotels and town car limo services.

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