Sunrise, FL — An early morning traffic stop led to a man being busted in possession of personal information on more than 100 persons, some of whom were dead.
When police approached the suspect who was parked at a local condominium at about 4 a.m, he told the officer he had no identification on him. But a search of the vehicle reportedly revealed that he had a lot of IDs, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel:
” …the officer later found more than 100 names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, email addresses and PIN numbers stored in a laptop, in medical records and in a book found in the car …
[The suspect] told investigators that the information was obtained without the consent of the individuals and to ‘learn how to file fraudulent tax returns,’ police said.”
Officers also allegedly found a pistol and a joint in the car. He was booked on various charges including those related to identity theft and bonded out the next day.
According to the Identity Theft Info website, some 15 million US residents (estimated at 7 percent of adults) have their identity theft stolen each year to the tune of $50 billion in losses. In addition, even if there is no outright theft,
“Close to 100 million additional Americans have their personal identifying information placed at risk of identity theft each year when records maintained in government and corporate databases are lost or stolen. These alarming statistics demonstrate identity theft may be the most frequent, costly and pervasive crime in the United States.”
In this particular instance, this potential identity stealing involving false tax filings appears to have been discovered by accident fortunately those 100 persons concerned.
Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Do you think in general that the government and private industry are securing and protecting personal data sufficiently?
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