Feeds

Feds break massive identity fraud

30,000+ victims

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.