Sunday, March 13, 2011

Topic: Identity Theft

There is no way anyone -in their right mind-
would want to steal the identity of a sex offender. RIGHT?

WRONG, as you will see in a minute!

Just because something is remote does not mean the Community Room should not address the issue. This has happened and more than once, way below are a couple of news stories where former sex offender information was taken and misused, further harming them in a financial way. Also a recent story of financial harm to many Americans; all these should be reviewed.

In addition, there are many other ways personal information might be used to harm the registrant, which I will not mention here (to prevent implanting ideas in the wrongful minds out there). Please use your imagination, the point being even though you may be a registrant, your ID is yours, and no one has a right to further destroy your image, in the community, or in other ways.
Often mentioned on major news stations is to get a FREE credit report. It is a good idea to check your report at least annually.

What do you do IF IF IF you think someone has stolen your ID? Here are two very good sites with suggestions:

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

BSCO Arrests Man for identity theft (12-31-2005)

BENTON COUNTY - A routine traffic stop resulted in the arrest of a Siloam Springs man who allegedly stole more than $20,000 through credit-card and tax fraud, according to a news release from the Benton County Sheriff's Office.

Charles Robbins, an investigator with the BCSO Drug Interdiction Team, stopped Matthew Buescher, 35, on Wednesday. Buescher was initially arrested for driving on a suspended license.

When an inventory of the vehicle was done, Robbins discovered a backpack in the back seat. The backpack contained several file folders and credit cards with different names. The file folders contained personal identification information obtained over the Internet via University of Arkansas computers. The identification information was of people from Indiana who had either been convicted or accused of sexual related crimes. Another file contained credit-report information on several people.

After Buescher was taken to the Sheriff's Office, he told Criminal Investigation Division investigator Jeremy Felton he had obtained the personal information to apply for and receive bank accounts, including credit cards.

It was discovered in another file folder found in the backpack that Buescher had filed several false tax returns with the state of Iowa for the purpose of defrauding the government out of thousands of dollars in tax refunds. Those refund checks would be sent to vacant houses and picked up at a later time, or the funds would be deposited electronically into false bank accounts.

In all, Buescher indicated he stole around $20,000. Buescher also said most of the money was used for gambling in Oklahoma.

Buescher is being held in the Benton County Jail awaiting a bond hearing for the charge of financial identity fraud, a class C felony. The crime is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. by Jennifer Turner Staff Writer jennifert@nwanews.

ID theft complaints of stolen tax refunds has surged 300 percent (2-28-2011)

Cases of stolen tax returns have surged, even as overall identity theft complaints to federal authorities have declined in the last half-decade, according to a Scripps Howard News Service investigation.

Analyzing more than 1.4 million ID theft records from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission from 2005 through early 2010, the Scripps study found that consumer complaints have declined sharply in recent years -- 20.2 percent from 2008 to 2010. The records were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Identity theft experts and victims attribute the long-term decline to increased vigilance by credit card companies and other financial institutions.

Logging the most complaints are California (230,269), Texas (144,272) and Florida (105,241), the data show. Over the five-year period, the most common type of ID theft was a new credit card taken out in the victim's name (185,287 complaints, or 13.2 percent of all complaints).

Another emerging -- and increasing -- criminal enterprise: Thieves using a stranger's identity to start electric or gas service at the bad guys' address. In 2005, the agency recorded 8,427 complaints for utility identity theft. By 2009, that number more than doubled to 19,934.

According to the FTC records, complaints of a thief using a victim's credit card dropped nearly 32 percent from 2005 to 2009, the last year for which there was full data. Some experts attribute this to the financial industry's success at thwarting fraud cases, while also providing full reimbursements to consumers.

However, some types of identity theft are thriving. Top of the list is stolen tax return-related identity theft, which jumped from 11,010 complaints in 2005 to 33,774 in 2009.

The FTC records also reveal national hotspots for identity theft. Brownsville, Texas -- along the U.S.-Mexico border -- contains the ZIP code with the highest volume of identity theft complaints. Police there declined to comment, but experts in Texas attribute the high volume to illegal immigrant and drug smuggling activity in the region.

Another identity theft flashpoint is Brooklyn, N.Y. Six of the top 10 ZIP codes where victims suspect their assailants are based are located in that New York City borough.

New York City police spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves said the department does not track identity theft by ZIP code, and it has no idea if Brooklyn is a hotbed for the crime.

For interactive map with breakdown of types of identity theft nationwide by ZIP code, go to:

Man Steals ID Of Sex Offender

CLINTON, Conn. (AP) - A good rule of thumb for an identity thief is not to steal the name of someone whose reputation is worse than yours, such as a sex offender.

Police said James Perry stole the name and identity of a neighbor who turned out to be a convicted sex offender.

Perry stole the identity of Robert Kowalski in order to obtain a drivers license, police said. Perry was living in Florida at the time and Kowalski was his neighbor.

Perry had four drunken driving arrests which he believed would make it difficult to get a license legally in Connecticut, police said.

Perry moved to Connecticut about a year ago and things went well until Perry was arrested for disorderly conduct.

A routine computer check found that "Kowalski" was a convicted sex offender in Michigan and not registered as required with the state of Connecticut.

Every bit of identification in his possession labeled the suspect as "Kowalski," but man himself was adamant that he was not a convicted sex offender, police said.

Finally, a check of his fingerprints revealed "Kowalski" to be James Perry.

Perry was released from Superior Court in Middletown Thursday on a promise to appear for his next court date Oct. 10 on charges of criminal impersonation, with charges of identity theft and forgery.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

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