Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime Privacy Security United States Your Rights Online

2-Year ID Theft Investigation Yields 86 Arrests; 25 More Sought 154

Posted by timothy
from the are-these-the-jerks-who-stole-mine? dept.
angry tapir writes with this bit from TechWorld: "Prosecutors call it the biggest identity theft bust in U.S. history. 111 bank tellers, retail workers, waiters and alleged criminals were charged with running a credit-card-stealing organization that stole more than $US13 million in less than a year-and-a-half. 'This is by far the largest — and certainly among the most sophisticated — identity theft/credit card fraud cases that law enforcement has come across,' the Queens County District Attorney's office said in a statement announcing the arrests."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2-Year ID Theft Investigation Yields 86 Arrests; 25 More Sought

Comments Filter:
  • by Elbereth (58257) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:12PM (#37657714) Journal

    It's not theft, if you still have the ability to use the identity. I just made a copy.

    What, why are so mad at me?

    • yeah, but, no.

      This argument is flawed. In the case of copying stuff on the internet, you just deny a business some hypothetical sales.

      In the case of identity theft, a life got screwed over. It's not the same at all.

      Not that I'm on the side of "a copy is not stealing". I just wanted to say that this particular comparison isn't correct.
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:30PM (#37657862)

        And fraud has been with us for a long, long time.

        As the practices of the consumers have shifted (writing few checks, using less cash, increased credit/debit card use, on-line banking) the methods of fraud have shifted.

        Unfortunately, the banks were able to also shift the "responsibility" for the fraud to the consumers.

        If someone uses your identity to commit fraud then YOU are responsible for cleaning up the mess.

        Even when YOU do not have any tools to PREVENT the fraud or even to be aware of it before the bank/store files a complaint against you.

      • by Elbereth (58257)

        Really, "identity theft" isn't all that bad. It's a big pain in the ass, and I hope that it doesn't happen to me again, but my life was definitely not screwed over. I had an annoying back and forth argument with Wal-Mart, over the fraudulent use of my debit card, culminating in me being forced to file a police report. I didn't consider a $50 charge on my debit card to be worth filing a police report, and the police didn't seem particularly happy to be burdened with the pointless paperwork, but I guess Wa

        • However, what annoys me is the hypocrisy

          It's only hypocrisy if they're the exact same situations (not if they're simply similar in your eyes).

          Pirates will howl with rage if you categorize them as thieves, but they think nothing of calling credit card fraud by the same hated term?

          Which pirates? That's just a generalization. And I think what someone does with the credit card makes a difference to said pirates.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            I'm a against calling piracy theft. And I'm against calling fraud "identity theft." I don't see the hypocrisy, I'm consistent, mostly.
        • by jafiwam (310805)

          That's not "identity theft"

          It's simple credit card fraud.

          Identity Theft is persistent, long lasting, and can't be cleared up with a few cards. It's loans, houses, car loans, credit carts, DUI arrests, etc.

          I used to work with a guy that had some illegal mexican (the co-worker was sorta "Spanish" looking so they even looked a bit alike) in Oregon rotating through several identities. Every several years, he'd get hit again, and the same stupid organizations would extend credit to the same illegal and t

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Identity Infringement?

      • This argument is flawed. In the case of copying stuff on the internet, you just deny a business some hypothetical sales.

        To use your phrase, yeah but no.

        Its not that simple. When you take something you havent paid for, even if the original is still there, the actual value of it goes down. In a very real sense, piracy costs the creator money by illegitimately reducing the worth of that product.

        You can argue about whether the creator deserves ANY compensation for their work, but acting like piracy doesnt affect the "economy" of creative works is overly simplistic, and incorrect.

        • In a very real sense, piracy costs the creator money by illegitimately reducing the worth of that product.

          A potential loss of potential profit. The creator's currently owned money doesn't just vanish (as far as I know).

          but acting like piracy doesnt affect the "economy" of creative works is overly simplistic, and incorrect.

          I think all he mentioned was hypothetical sales. And I'd say he's correct. Not everyone would have bought it if they couldn't pirate it.

          • Lets say you can work out the costs of producing and shipping a gallon of milk to the store, and it works out to $1.00.

            Now, you normally go the store, and pay the retail cost of the milk ($2.89), and the store turns a profit, and operates as normal.

            One day, you notice that your friends are just taking the milk, and leaving $1.00 on the milk shelf (ie, zero loss, zero profit). Theyre not checking the milk out nor paying the proper $2.89. They've discovered a path through the store that no employees ever wa

            • and they reason that the store isnt taking a LOSS

              The store is losing milk, is it not? Who says they wanted to sell to them? The people in your scenario are taking away someone else's property whilst going on the assumption that they wanted to sell to them and just leaving an amount of money less than the store sells it for doesn't hurt them.

              An example of actual, physical theft.

              Whereas in the case of piracy, all that is potentially lost is hypothetical profit. The pirate didn't interact with the creators, take anything from them, use up their time, or do a

              • Who says they wanted to sell to them?

                Who says the content creator wants you downloading their song off of limewire?

                But nothing they had is gone.

                And the store can buy more milk. But you seemed to place some value on whether or not the store wanted someone else to acquire its good, regardless of costs-- why does the content creator have no say all of a sudden?

                You completely missed my argument, as shown by your final statement:

                Actual money is only lost if the pirate went up and robbed the store.

                If societal pressures and norms result in a song netting only a single initial sale despite thousands of downloads, then money IS lost, and value WAS

                • Who says the content creator wants you downloading their song off of limewire?

                  My point is meant to be taken all at once. The fact that physical theft was involved and the fact that they merely assumed that they wanted to sell it to them in the first place is why I believe that is not a good analogy.

                  And the store can buy more milk.

                  And if someone stole a television from your house and left money for another one, you could go get another one. It's much different because, temporarily or not, you're taking away something that they had previously and forcing them to go get another (thereby using up their time and potenti

                  • I can actually prove to you that there is a negative effect on sales

                    I'm not even arguing about that. I believe that, between all of the pirates in the world, there is almost certainly a negative effect on sales. I just don't believe it's theft.

                    • My argument was never about what word you apply to it, my point was that it is wrong on some level, has a negative economic impact on its target, and that basically everyone who splits hairs over what to call it does so for selfish reasons.

                    • my point was that it is wrong on some level

                      Wrong according to whom?

                      and that basically everyone who splits hairs over what to call it does so for selfish reasons.

                      That's just an assumption on your part. I doubt you have any idea what they're thinking. They could be someone who is against copyright infringement and yet believes that it isn't theft.

                    • That's just an assumption on your part. I doubt you have any idea what they're thinking.

                      It is an assumption, based on their reasoning and how when you draw the discussion out, it becomes apparent they have no ethical ground to stand on-- at which point they shift the discussion to "whose ethic" and "I dont care, information wants to be free" and whatnot.

                      Its very rarely about the content creator; if you manage to show how their actions might harm the creators, they will insist that THOSE creators sold their souls to the label and thus dont deserve any money; or that their prices are too high; o

      • by sjames (1099)

        The life is actually screwed over by the careless creditors who handed money over to a fraudster and then came after the actual person rather than accepting that they screwed up. It's compounded by credit agencies that routinely get away with libel/slander (saying and printing adverse things about a person that cause material harm with a reckless disregard for the truth of the statements).

        None of that should be taken as my support for identity thieves, fraud is wrong.It's just a recognition that they aren't

      • by jandrese (485)
        If someone could open an account using my information in such a way that it never impacted me (no bill collectors coming after me when they default on the credit cards, no hit to the credit score, etc...), then this analogy would work, but it doesn't. This fraud really does steal your identity.
    • Re:Identity "theft" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WillDraven (760005) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:31PM (#37657864) Homepage

      I know you were making a joke, but I feel like pointing this out anyways since you brought it up.

      "Identity Theft" is a bit of a misnomer, but it's not because of the 'theft' part. Something is being stolen, it's just not the identity. What's been stolen is the persons credit. The identity is just the tool used to do so.

      "Credit Theft" just doesn't have the same punch to it though, so I doubt we'll see the name being changed in the name of pedantry anytime soon.

      On a different note: ((13 million / 111) * 2) / 3 = $78,078.08 per year, if it was distributed evenly among all conspirators. Since some of the comments here quote the article as having some of the perpetrators renting jets, it certainly looks like some of the people involved in this sure got the short end of the stick considering the risk they're facing.

      Remember kids, if you're going to steal millions of dollars, you need to incorporate first to avoid liability! ;-)

      • What's being stolen is the person's proof of identity. Anything else depends on that.

        Similarly, if I steal your login, I can read your mail, rewrite your documents, etc. Your login is the proof of your identity.

        • I was speaking in the sense that "steal" means to take something so that the owner no longer may use it. If somebody uses my proof of identity, I am not prevented from proving my identity myself. If somebody steals my credit, I can not use that credit (until I convince them it wasn't me and transfer liability to whoever gave the thief my credit).

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        It isn't "Credit Theft". It is "Theft via Identity Impersonation". This has been shortened to "Identity Theft". I don't particularly think it is a good name, but it does make more sense than calling copyright violation "Theft". I would prefer "Identity Fraud". I would guess that with most people, it would carry just as much weight, and would be more accurate, in the shortened term.
    • Yeah. Bunch of whiners. Everyone who has had their identity copied is a dinosaur, and should just learn to adapt, rather than trying to hide behind legislation.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      You're ignoring the fact that after identity theft the original owner no longer has access to the things that a good credit score can obtain. If it was just a matter of making a copy that had no impact on the original you'd have a point. However, the individual whose identity is stolen ends up with decreased ability to borrow and possibly out of a job as some jobs do require one to have a good credit score and limited outstanding debt.

      • by number11 (129686)

        You're ignoring the fact that after identity theft the original owner no longer has access to the things that a good credit score can obtain. If it was just a matter of making a copy that had no impact on the original you'd have a point. However, the individual whose identity is stolen ends up with decreased ability to borrow and possibly out of a job as some jobs do require one to have a good credit score and limited outstanding debt.

        But if you get a bad credit score, who was it that issued the score? It is the credit company that is issuing a false representation of your value, a score that does not reflect your true situation. How they could have known is irrelevant, it should be their problem, and they are are negligent in failing to learn the true situation before reporting it. If you make statements about others negligently and with disregard to facts, you will likely be liable, so why should the credit company not be liable?

        Of

    • by antdude (79039)

      You missed a word. :P

  • Prosecutors call it the biggest identity theft bust in US history.

    Okay. Sounds good.

    Six of the accused are charged with stealing $850,000 worth of computer equipment from a Citigroup building in Long Island City last August. Prosecutors say that a former Citi employee, Steven Oluwo, and a security guard under contract to Citigroup, Angel Quinones, helped with the theft.

    How is that "identity theft"? Unless they stole the computers containing personal information? If so, was it encrypted?

    "Many of the defendan

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      I suspect the equipment was for forgery purposes as they also found things like blank credit cards, and I'm guessing you can't get credit-card writers off the shelf. Actually, lemme check... no, doesn't look like Amazon sells any, just the readers. After finding out Amazon sells uranium, I really wouldn't be shocked.

      I agree that renting a jet is kind of stupid. I'm more surprised that, with 111 people involved, they only stole $13 million. Seems like a lot, but it's only about $117,000 per person, which co

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:50PM (#37657988) Journal
        Wrong search terms: "Magnetic Stripe Encoders" [amazon.com] are what you are looking for.

        ~$300, won't handle the fancy card graphics and embossed numerals("Magnetic Stripe Card Embossers" are used for that, also perfectly licit off-the-shelf items); but will turn a card blank into something that an automated POS won't bat an eye at(and, in most cases, re-using a bank-issued card, even if the number on the card doesn't match the one on the stripe, should probably escape a retail employee's notice).

        Magnetic card stock is also a legitimate off-the-shelf item, as are printers that will dump an arbitrary color image onto blanks(entirely non-suspicious, any organization that issues mag-stripe IDs probably has such a printer on the shelf somewhere.) Getting a card-stock supplier to do a large print run of cards identical to bank blanks would probably raise some eyebrows; so you would presumably have to steal or print your own.

        Everything you need to produce fully functional magnetic stripe cards is fully licit, available off the shelf, and not particularly expensive. The only "secret" is the name and number prominently displayed on actual issued credit cards, and handed over during each transaction. The "chip and PIN" stuff is horribly broken; but at least it pretends to be concerned about card cloning...
        • by rrossman2 (844318)

          Yup, you can even find them all in one place:
          http://www.e-scan.com/plastic.htm [e-scan.com]

        • by Nursie (632944)

          I'm not sure how broken chip and pin is, really.

          I worked on Chip And Pin stuff about ten years ago when Europe was starting to roll it out. As far as I know there still aren't many convincing hacks, and in fact the weakest link is the fact that the mag stripe is still present and some merchants still accept it.

          That's not to say there aren't security holes, but the only one I've read about that can actually be exploited so far requires the original card and an active passthru device.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            And there is trust of the terminal. You can hack a terminal in a manner that can "break" the transaction, but the issue with that is in reality, they'd get caught very fast when using it.
            • by sjames (1099)

              A lot of people get away with attaching skimmers to ATMs. Look through the news and you'll see plenty of skimmers found but few associated arrests.

          • by sjames (1099)

            The biggest weakness is that it can be skipped entirely. A few years ago when processing for the chip and pin in Europe went down for a week or so, retailers kept a roll of tape at the checkout you could use to temporarily disable the chip.

            • by Zironic (1112127)

              Well, while you -can- skip using the chip, the -entire- liability for the transaction is then on the merchant.

              • by sjames (1099)

                It's interesting how the liability never manages to find the bank, it's either the merchant or the cardholder in every case. I don't find that acceptable until they give me a system where I don't have to enter my PIN using an untrusted (by me) terminal.

                • by Zironic (1112127)

                  Well, the bank is liable if the chip was cloned. However those cases are rare and the bank will be less then willing to admit that could be the case.

                  • by sjames (1099)

                    The bank should also be liable if the PIN was obtained in spite of due care (and the bank should have to prove lack of due care). Because of poor choices in the design of chip and PIN, the cardholder has little choice but to enter a 4 digit PIN in a public place on an untrusted keypad.

                    I have to wonder how long it will be before crooks can get a simple device to brute force the PIN on a stolen card (if they aren't already available).

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:21PM (#37657798) Homepage

    This significantly improves my opinion of banks. I knew that they were full of the kind of people who would hold the economy hostage and demand a bailout from the federal government because they were too big to fail. I knew they were full of the kind of people who would robo-sign documents fraudulently, sometimes causing families to be kicked out of their houses by mistake. I knew they were full of the kind of people who would convince working people to sign mortgages that the banks knew they could never repay, based on income information that the banks knew was fraudulent.

    Now I find out that that isn't the only kind of person who works at banks. There are apparently some who aren't criminal masterminds, just workaday crooks. Small-time white-collar criminals who deal with Russian gangsters during the week to make an extra buck, but on the weekends go home and coach their kids' soccer teams. Very refreshing.

    • Criminals behind the counter are VERY common. My wife worked in banking for about ten years. She ran into all kinds of crooks and sham artists on both sides of the counter. The thing is, when an employee gets caught ripping someone off or "befriending" very old men who have tons of money (they can see your holdings...all of them), the bank covers it up--every time if they can help it. They don't want the story hitting the local paper--very embarrassing and tends to scare customers. I've seen this over and o
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:25PM (#37657818)

    as long as identity has value.

    We have too much identity. Alleged identity does not assure good intentions or good funds.

    The powers that be have been incessantly pushing more identity on us and all it's done is create more identity theft and identity abuse (often from marketers).

    We should be moving to chip and pin, a proof of knowledge scheme, rather than this nonsense based on numbers which must be kept secret from thieves but shared with the whole world to do business, and names, an information commodity passed around more than a joint at a Dead concert.

    Why should a card be billed by name and number? Are either relevant to assuring funds transfer? No. The only thing which should matter is a positive response from the merchant's bank confirming funds transfer.

    A user-friendly payment system would give the merchant neither the name of the person using the secure card nor any unique identifying number. The response should be either VALID $x.yy or INVALID.

    Our current payment system was designed by bankers, marketers, and politicians, and it shows.

    If it were designed by security experts this would not be a problem.

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:29PM (#37657856) Journal

    the subprime RMBS, the Credit Default Swap market.... those were trillions of dollars... a single CDO deal could be worth a billion dollars... and law enforcement some how did not "come across" it.

    if you want to know why, three of the best books are Confidence Game by Christine S Richard and The Asylum by Leah McGrath Goodman and EConned by Yves Smith. Another good resource is the film Inside Job by Charles Ferguson.

    white-collar law enforcement is flat out corrupted, with guys who head regulatory agencies going soft on big financial institutions, and then getting hired by those institutions a year or two later.

    the Synthetic CDO market has been called the biggest ponzi scheme in history, by Janet Tavakoli (who wrote three textbooks on structured finance). and insiders in the industry, like Gregg Lippman of Deutschebank, called it similar names, as revealed by the Levin Coburn senate committee hearings. You can find books like Colossal Failure of Common Sense, by Lehman bond trader Lawrence McDonald (and Patrick Robinson) who flat out call CDS "gambling". and then there is Lang Gibson , high up in Merrill Lynch's CDO business, who wrote an entire book called 'Lost Trust' about it. Then there is Tetsua Ishikawa, who wrote a novel called "How I caused the Credit Crunch" - he was an ex-Goldman Sachs guy .

    Now lets not even discuss the Commodity Index Funds, or how "someone in Washington" prevented Goodman's article in a trade journal that blamed the GSCIF for manipulating market prices of commodities, or the article in Harpers that said similar things. Also lets not even go into how JP Morgan and other bailed-out banks have bought entire warehouses to hoard metals (Copper being the one JPM was caught doing), or that the head of JP Morgan's commodities business is none other than Blythe Masters - who was on the original JPM team that invented Credit Default Swaps in the 1990s.

    No. Let's go after the half-starving clerks and retail workers, many of whom cannot even afford to go to a doctor, in the richest country on the history of the planet. Yeah. those are the real 'thieves'. arent they?

    As Goodman quotes a Trader in her book, about why the cops never go busting the massive cocaine deals going on in places like the New York Mercantile exchange... "[why would they want to get caught up in a shit show like that? Theyd rather be busting Pablo in Harlem]". the same principle applies to other financial crimes, like theft and fraud. Why would a regulator or cop want to get caught up in a shit show like that?

    • by CEOs and executives... which is every bit, exactly, as much stealing as swiping someones credit card. and it has gone unpunished... there is a book that came out recently about this.

      then there were the Auction Rate Securities scams...

      then there were the CLO based mergers and acquisitions, created only for profit of traders...

      and on and on. the garden of fraud that blossomed from 1995-2008 is unprecedented in human history, and yet law enforcement wasnt able to "come across it".

      the only people in jail are

      • by King_TJ (85913)

        Yep.... and frankly, I think Bernie Madoff just wound up a "fall guy" for the whole thing because he happened to con a lot of Hollywood celebs out of their money, making his bust much more "high profile". Everyone tunes into E! television and finds out they finally "caught the guy who took all of John Malkovich's savings" and it makes a bigger impression....

    • No. Let's go after the half-starving clerks and retail workers, many of whom cannot even afford to go to a doctor, in the richest country on the history of the planet. Yeah. those are the real 'thieves'. arent they?

      Are you suggesting they should get a free pass for theft? Seems a little ridiculous that one should augment one's income by stealing from patrons and then attempt to justify it.

      The problem with many of the fat cats is, what they did is in many cases not illegal. Make it illegal first.

      • by sjames (1099)

        They got caught and they should be prosecuted, BUT, in the scheme of things, the fat bankers at the top stole billions and wiped out the entire world's economy leaving a great many homeless and jobless. In comparison, these people swiped a candy bar from the grocery store. Don't you find it just a bit annoying that the FBI is spending all those resources on the great Hershey bar caper and isn't even bothering to ask a few questions of the fat bankers who still sit in their offices sneering at the peons they

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @08:33PM (#37657884) Journal
    I despise how these cases get treated as "identity theft" rather than "bank/CC fraud with a side of impersonation". An "identity" as it is presently constructed for financial purposes, is basically all public, or near-public information(much of it is public record, the rest is simultaneously treated as Super Secret Proof, and demanded, all the time, by basically everybody, because it is Super Secret Proof, which of course means that it is basically public, like SSNs and CC numbers...) It isn't the person whose "identity" is used to perpetrate a given frauds fault that financial institutions can't be bothered to actually verify transactions properly, although the poor bastards often get stuck with years of hassle for it anyway.

    The notion of "identity theft" seems like nothing more than a cynical way to shift responsibility away from the responsible parties, and the parties who could do something about it(hey, Visa, don't want my CC getting cloned by anybody who manages to obtain the numbers visible in plaintext on the card, which have to be used to perform a transaction? Try cryptography...) and onto the suckers at the bottom of the food chain who, realistically, have very little control over the 'security' that a bunch of nearly public information connected to them is given by the large number of people who have access to it.
    • by ka9dgx (72702) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @09:10PM (#37658084) Homepage Journal

      I love this thread... it is insane to try to keep a system like this designed for a few clients in the 1950s and 1960s alive when it has scaled to a significant fraction of the planet's population. Cryptography would be a great leap forward, but even a few simple things could make it much better like having a website for each of the major CC/Debt card vendors where you can have them generate a new random large number for handing off (via cut/paste, or whatever) to a vendor, which gives them a claim for x dollars from your account... once, or whatever schedule/limits you set.... and would only work for their account, nobody elses.

      Even if their computers were stolen, the number wouldn't work for anyone else..... and if they tried to screw you, you'd just revoke the capability from your control panel, and they'd never get another cent.

      This could be done with 1970's class mainframe hardware... and would require only a few nano-cents worth of storage these days.... yet we get screwed by the IT systems designed in the 1950s.

      • generate a new random large number for handing off (via cut/paste, or whatever) to a vendor, which gives them a claim for x dollars from your account... once, or whatever schedule/limits you set.... and would only work for their account, nobody elses.

        This already exists, it's called "ShopSafe". It's available for many credit cards including some Visa's.

        The website creates a new credit card that links to your account, so that charges to this new card appear on your statement.

        The new card has a limit which you choose, and an expiry date which you also choose (default: 2 months). Once a vendor charges to the card, no *other* vendor can levy further charges.

        So for example, to purchase something online for $50, ask it to generate a new card for $70 (to cover

      • by houghi (78078)

        Start by using the chip on your credit cards like we do in Europe and not the magnetic strip. Would be a good start already.

    • Fuzzy Fuzzy Fungus,
      I couldn't mod you up, you were already at the maximum, but I've just got to say, yours is the best insight I've seen this year. Thank you.

      The notion of "identity theft" seems like nothing more than a cynical way to shift responsibility away from the responsible parties, and the parties who could do something about it...

  • by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @09:48PM (#37658288) Homepage Journal

    The only agency I see referenced in TFA is the Queens DA. I'm guessing that this, by it's nature, would be interstate and therefor investigated by the US Secret Service. But I would expect the USSS to hand the case over to a US Attorney General for prosecution. I'll have to do some google-fu to get beyond the self aggrandizing release by the Queens DA to get a more complete story. There is no way he did this by himself. Kinda prickish not to mention the others involved.

    • by Nethead (1563)

      Ok, it was a bad press article, go figure.

      Here's the real press release [queensda.org] (and quite detailed, it should have been TFA.)

      In short, I have to appolgise for the above post regarding the actions of the Queens DA. Here's part of the press release:

      "The investigation was conducted by Detectives Enrico Morriello, Edwin Romero and Dafeng Zeng, of the New York City Police Departmentâ(TM)s Identity Theft Squad under the supervision of Lieutenant Ruperto Aguilar and the command of Deputy Inspector Gregory T. Anton

  • I haven't find the word "hacker" mentioned anywhere, since that was the mainstream definition for these people.

  • Sometimes it's just too easy... Like the fact that until recently you could divert mail here in Denmark by simply filling out a form at the post office. No checks were performed and no notification were given at the old address. Fraudsters used this to intercept any mails the target shouldn't see while forwarding manually all other mail. This way the target never missed any mail and thus didn't suspect anything.

    The postal service initially refused to accept that it could be a problem despite several cases u

  • Assuming everyone is getting an equal cut here they've each only made around $115,000 for a year-and-a-half's work. So ~$80,000 a year. Granted, it's not taxed and $80,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but that amount of money hardly seems to be worth the risk. If I'm going to be a criminal I want to be pulling in way more money than I could ever make if I just got a basic professional job. I would need something like $500k a year to make it worth the risk.
  • We got hit with this--or something like it.

    Come back from vacation and find a half-dozen credit cards opened in
    our name, all with $1K-$2K already charged on them.
    They were opened over a period of 48 hours,
    across a swath of states over 1K miles from our residence.
    Mostly MC/Visa; a few store cards.

    One or two banks called our home number, and since we weren't there to confirm, refused to open the account.
    The rest all opened the accounts and allowed the first-day charges.

    We filed a police report and contested e

  • I am glad to see that someone who gets noticed has spoken out against the Cult of Steve Jobs and Apple. Yes, they have made some attractive products. Yes, they have been influential. But Apple is overly lauded and overpriced, and Jobs similarly so. I haven't been so annoyed by a celebrity's continuous eulogies since the death of Michael Jackson. That being said, I am not overly fond of RMS. Like many in the free software movement, he fails to find a way for programmers to be paid. I appreciate his GPL work,

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

Working...