Feeds

Feds break massive identity fraud

30,000+ victims

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

US investigators have charged three people for involvement in an ID theft scam believed to have hit upwards of 30,000 victims and cost millions through fraudulent transactions. Prosecutors say it the largest identity fraud case in US history.

According to newswire reports, the chief suspect in the case is Philip Cummings, 33, of Cartersville, Georgia, who turned himself in yesterday. Cummings worked for Teledata Communications, which supplies software to link the systems of banks and credit reference agencies.

Cummings allegedly obtained confidential passwords and codes to download potential victims' credit reports before selling them on to crooks at $30 each. This information enabled criminals to impersonate victims and obtain fraudulent loans, access bank accounts and run up unauthorised credit card bills in their name. More than 15,000 credit reports were stolen from credit reference bureau Experian, using passwords belonging to Ford Motor Credit Corporation, investigators told AP.

At an appearance a Manhattan Federal Court yesterday, Cummings was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy offences which carry a combined sentences of up to 30 years in prison should he be convicted.

The FBI has also charged Linus Baptiste, who investigators believe acted as an intermediary between Cummings and crooks, and Hakeem Mohammad, who has pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

"We believe this is the largest case of identity fraud in US history with the losses running into the many, many millions," US Attorney James Comey told reporters, describing the crime as "every American's worst financial nightmare multiplied tens of thousands of times.''

"With a few keystrokes, these men essentially picked the pockets of tens of thousands of Americans and, in the process, took their identities, stole their money and swiped their security," he added.

Confirmed losses so far stand at $2.7 million, with the figure expected to grow as investigators unravel the scope of the fraud. ®

Related Stories

Ford US in grand theft automated
Trainee dishwasher pleads guilty to $80m identity fraud
Identity Thefts from the Rich and Famous
Stomp the identity thieves
Chinese hackers turn to identity theft

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.