Feeds

FBI nabs AWOL soldier for stealing Paul Allen's debit card

Feds unseal charges alleging bank fraud against Microsoft biz baron

Remote control for virtualized desktops

An alleged US Army deserter has been charged with stealing the identity of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to run a bank fraud scam.

Brandon Price, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, allegedly conned Citibank call centre workers into changing Allen’s address to that of Price’s modest home – as well as changing the phone number associated with his card – on 9 January. Days later he allegedly persuaded Citibank to send a replacement debit card in Allen's name to the bogus address.

"An individual identifying himself as Paul Allen called the customer service department of Citibank. The caller stated that he had misplaced his debit card at his residence, but did not want to report it stolen. The individual then successfully ordered a new debit card on the account of Paul Allen and had it sent via UPS," FBI agent Joseph J Ondercin explained in a criminal complaint (PDF).

The complaint fails to explain what personal information was used to successfully impersonate Allen. As a high-profile public figure, a great deal of personal information about Allen is in the public domain and his address and even social security number might not be hard to determine.

Citibank is defending its handling of the matter, pointing out the bank's anti-fraud systems quickly spotted something was amiss and blocked further fraud. “Through our own security procedures, Citibank identified the actions of a fraudulent account take over and turned the matter over to law enforcement. We will continue to work with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.” Catherine Pulley, a CitiBank spokeswoman, told Wired.

Prosecutors allege Price used the debit card the same day UPS delivered it on 13 January to pay $658 payment into his Armed Forces Bank loan account before unsuccessfully attempting to use it to pay for the wire transfer of via Western Union and attempted purchases from Gamestop and Family Value stores in Pittsburgh. All three of the latter transactions were blocked.

Price, who has been absent without leave from the US Army since June 2010, faces wire fraud and bank fraud charges over the alleged scam. He's been held in federal custody pending a trial, the date for which is yet to be set. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.