Identity Theft

Law
3:11 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Millions in Tax Refunds Obtained Through Massive Identity Theft Conspiracy

Federal investigators in Western Pennsylvania have uncovered a national identity theft scheme that has been in operation for nearly a decade. Thieves used stolen IDs to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards and file fake tax returns that caused the IRS to pay millions in fraudulent funds.

Five suspects from New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee are being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Larger Implications of the Target Data Breach

Target was hit by a security breach over the holiday shopping season that has affected over 100 million people and is just beginning to feel the negative effects of the breach.
Credit j.reed / flickr

The massive data breach that occurred at Target stores at the beginning of the holiday season was thought to affect 40 million customers.

With estimates expanded Friday to more than 100 million, it’s believed that names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses have been compromised along with credit and debit card numbers.

The questions now are, "Is this attack different than other security breaches?" and "What should a person do who has been affected by this type of a security breach?" Answering these questions are Andy Tornasi, a Federal Project Manager for Tiversa, and Orion Czarnecki, a Cyber Forensic Analyst at Tiversa.

Tornasi says this breach is different from any case he has dealt with in the past.

“This is the first time that I ever heard of malware affecting the point of sale for a particular store."

Czarnecki has this advice for those who were affected by the Target breach or the recent breach at Neiman Marcus stores.

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Business
2:10 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Better Business Bureau Offers Security Tips After Victims of Hacking Scheme Lose Millions

The Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to take a hands-on approach in monitoring financial records after five Russian and Ukrainian hackers were charged with stealing 160 million credit card numbers over seven years.

Caitlin Vancas, spokeswoman for the BBB of Western Pennsylvania, said people need to take a closer look at their bills and statements in order to stay secure.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:37 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Cyber Crime Conversation Continued

Mike Prusisnki, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist for Tiversa follows up with listeners on ways to monitor and prevent identity fraud.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

We'll continue our conversation with Mike Prusisnki, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist for the cyber intelligence company Tiversa. A new report from the Federal Trade Commission gives a comprehensive break down of credit complaints.

For more information on what you heard in this segment, visit:

www.ftc.gov

www.ncpc.org

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Cyber Crime on the Rise

How vulnerable are you to ID theft?
Credit IntelFree Press / Flickr

According to a survey released last week 12.6 million Americans were victimized by identity theft in 2012. We'll learn how this happens, why this crime is on the rise and what you can do to protect yourself with Mike Prusisnki, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist of the cyber intelligence company Tiversa.

Selected Key Findings from the survey

Identity fraud incidents and amount stolen increased—The number of identity fraud incidents increased by one million more consumers over the past year, and the dollar amount stolen increased to $21 billion, a three-year high but still significantly lower than the all-time high of $47 billion in 2004. This equates to 1 incident of identity fraud every 3 seconds.

1 in 4 data breach notification recipients became a victim of identity fraud—This year, almost 1 in 4 consumers that received a data breach letter became a victim of identity fraud, which is the highest rate since 2010. This underscores the need for consumers to take all notifications seriously. Not all breaches are created equal. The study found consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.

Fraudsters misuse information fewer days than before—Consumer information was misused for an average of 48 days in 2012, down from 55 days in 2011 and 95 days in 2010. Misuse time was down for all types of fraud including fraud on cards, loans, bank accounts, mobile phone bills and other types of fraud due to consumer and industry action.  More than 50 percent of victims were actively detecting fraud using financial alerts, credit monitoring or identity protection services and by monitoring their accounts.

Small retailers are losing out—Fraud victims are more selective where they shop after an incident, and small businesses were the most dramatically impacted. The study found that 15 percent of all fraud victims decided to change behaviors and avoid smaller online merchants. This is a much greater percentage than those that avoid gaming sites or larger retailers.