identity theft

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In Graceland Scam, Identity Thief Steps Forward

Plot using faked documents 'didn't succeed very well,' individual tells 'NYT'

(Newser) - An alleged identity thief claims to be behind the attempted foreclosure auction of Elvis Presley's beloved home, Graceland. "We figure out how to steal," the individual wrote in an email to the New York Times . "That's what we do." The Times had sent questions...

Man Confesses to Strange, Decadeslong Identity Theft

Matthew David Keirans has pleaded guilty in odd case

(Newser) - William Woods was homeless and living in Los Angeles when he learned that someone was racking up debt using his name. But when he reported his concerns to the branch manager of a bank, he wound up spending nearly two years locked up, accused of identity theft himself. As he...

The Town Believed She Was 22. She Definitely Wasn't

'Elle' has the story of 'Lauren Ashleigh Hays'

(Newser) - By all appearances, Lauren Ashleigh Hays was 22 as she said—and acted even younger. After arriving at a shelter in Missouri in 2016 saying she was fleeing an abusive boyfriend, the small town of Willow Springs rallied around her. She landed a job at the library, enrolled in college,...

Hacker Went After Her Niece. Big Mistake
Hacker Went After Her Niece.
Big Mistake
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Hacker Went After Her Niece. Big Mistake

'USA Today' recounts an Ohio woman's amateur but successful investigation

(Newser) - It's not your usual story about identity theft. In this case, USA Today recounts how an Ohio woman with no background in such things decided to track down a hacker who had stolen her niece's credentials. "It’s about my niece, but I hate when people do...

Hawaii Couple Allegedly Used Dead Kids' Names for Decades

They're accused of stealing the children's identities

(Newser) - A US defense contractor and his wife who lived for decades under the identities of two dead Texas children have been charged with identity theft and conspiring against the government, according to federal court records unsealed in Honolulu. Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, both in their late 60s,...

Russian Cybercriminals and Miami Gangs Find Synergy
Miami Street Gangs 
Feed Off Russian Hackers 
longform

Miami Street Gangs Feed Off Russian Hackers

For gangs, identity theft is an easy way to raise money, and Russian criminals are making it easy

(Newser) - "Fraud is the new dope." So says Armando Aguilar of the Miami Police, per a recent report by Thomas Brewster for Forbes about links between Miami street gangs and Russian cybercriminals. Gangs have always seen identity theft as a low-risk funding source. Crips from the East Coast to...

After Surfside Condo Collapse, an 'Abhorrent' Alleged Crime

3 are charged with stealing the identities of 7 victims following shopping sprees

(Newser) - Two women and a man allegedly stole the identities of seven victims of the condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla. , in the days after the tragedy and spent thousands of dollars on shoes and a Versace purse. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle described the suspects—Betsy Alexandra Cacho-Medina, 30; her...

Lookalike Inmate Mistakenly Released From Jail

Search is on for Ellen Goble in Randolph County, Mo.

(Newser) - Authorities in Missouri are searching for a woman who was mistaken for another inmate and wrongly released from jail over the weekend. Ellen Goble—who was held in Randolph County Jail on charges of resisting arrest, burglary, drug possession, and operating a vehicle without a valid license—looked almost identical...

Scope of Unemployment Fraud in Pandemic Is Staggering

Axios reports that half of benefits, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars, might have been stolen

(Newser) - Stories about rampant fraud related to unemployment benefits paid out during the pandemic have been percolating for a while. The AP reported in March that states were being overwhelmed by bogus claims. Earlier this week, WBTW noted that the FTC has logged 400,000 complaints so far from people who...

Kevin Hart's Personal Shopper Charged With Stealing From Star

Dylan Jason Syer accused of spending $1M on himself

(Newser) - Kevin Hart's former personal shopper apparently thought "personal" applied to himself. Dylan Jason Syer of Long Island City, NY, is facing up to 25 years in prison after allegedly stealing more than $1 million from the actor, the BBC reports. Syer, who ran the personal shopper business Sire...

Calif.: Criminals Raided Unemployment Funds to Tune of $11.4B

State's labor secretary says hackers, other criminals may have stolen an additional $20B

(Newser) - From March of last year to the middle of January, California paid out some $114 billion in unemployment benefits. Now, the state's labor secretary, Julie Su, has some alarming news on about $11.4 billion, or 10%, of that figure—those payments were fraudulent, stolen by hackers, identity thieves,...

Ohio Man Sentenced for Impersonating Missing Boy

Prosecutors said Brian Rini caused Timmothy Pitzen's family 'enormous pain'

(Newser) - An Ohio man who caused fresh heartbreak for the family of a long-missing boy has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Brian Rini, now 25, was 23 years old when he claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen , an Illinois boy who has been missing since...

'Slick' Pair Found a Way to Rob Rich Celebrities: LAPD

Benjamin Ackerman and Jason Emil Yaselli could serve over 31 years each

(Newser) - If this story's true, "slick" is really the word. Police say a Beverly Hills man and a real estate agent conspired to steal from high-end homes—including celebrities Usher and Adam Lambert—and spent the money partly on credit-card debt, the Los Angeles Times reports. Benjamin Eitan Ackerman...

80 Charged in Massive Love Scam Run Out of LA

Man named Valentine, another Nigerian citizen are accused masterminds of scheme out of California

(Newser) - The feds say elderly women and businesses were the perpetrators' targets, and that they managed to squeeze at least $6 million out of their victims in what prosecutors are calling "one of the largest cases of its kind in US history." CNN reports on the arrests Thursday of...

AG: Fake Pharmacist Doled Out 750K Prescriptions

For over 10 years, Kim Thien Le worked as Bay Area pharmacist without license: Xavier Becerra

(Newser) - For more than 10 years, Kim Thien Le handed out scads of prescriptions as a pharmacist at a handful of Walgreens stores in the Bay Area—nearly 750,000 scripts when all was said and done, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra noted Tuesday. The problem, per the AG's statement:...

FEMA Struck by a 'Major Privacy Incident'

Agency disclosed sensitive data of more than 2M disaster survivors, per DHS IG report

(Newser) - Survivors may still be picking up the pieces after the natural disasters that have swept across the country over the past couple of years, and now they have a new issue to contend with: the possibility of identity theft thanks to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling a...

Parents Stole Kids' Identities, Racked Up Debt, Police Say

The mom and dad are in jail

(Newser) - New York State Police say a couple racked up nearly $10,000 in unpaid utility bills and credit card debts using the man's son's name, destroying his credit rating, the AP reports. Authorities say 44-year-old Thomas Cash and his wife, 39-year-old Alisha Cash, were arrested in Madison County,...

America's Oldest Man Robbed of His Savings

Thieves stole Richard Overton's identity and broke into his bank account

(Newser) - Richard Overton is something of a celebrity in Austin, Texas, because the 112-year-old WWII veteran is the oldest living man in America. He now has a new distinction: the oldest American to be robbed of his savings, reports Newsweek . Family members recently learned that an unidentified thief used Overton's...

Answers in One Mystery Lead to More Questions

Could Robert Ivan Nichols be the Zodiac Killer?

(Newser) - What appeared to be a straightforward suicide case morphed into what's been called "one of northeast Ohio's biggest mysteries," involving a long-dead boy, identity theft, and a war hero turned deadbeat dad. Now, per the Plain Dealer , the cold case has been (somewhat) solved, largely thanks...

Someone Stole Her ID. She Went to Jail for 49 Days

Joy Morales is suing over her false imprisonment in New Mexico

(Newser) - A New Mexico woman wrongly jailed for weeks in two states after someone stole her identity is suing a New Mexico county and a city that ignored her pleas that they had the wrong person, reports the AP . The Hobbs News-Sun reports lawyers for Joy Morales recently filed a lawsuit...

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