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Thursday, April 05, 2007


In the last couple of weeks, NBC’s Dateline show put on the best performance of “To Catch an ID Thief” I have seen. If you missed them (March 27 and April 3), the two reports are available online at MSNBC: Report 1; Report 2. Chris Hansen, NBC reporter, along with Dan Clements, president of “Card Cops,” an Internet security company, and one of the most prolific legitimate hackers you’ll ever run into, started with a search in chatrooms where criminals go to buy your personal information. You’ve heard how easy this data is to find, but I was shocked to see Social security numbers that normally go for around $60, selling for just $5. That’s what competition does for the marketplace. In another virtual online scenario, Clements, in the same chatrooms, offered stolen credit card number accounts for sale that NBC had created for the show in cooperation with a major credit card issuer. First hit in 12 seconds; another buy in 26 seconds. And then starts the fraudulent use of the cards, and to make a long story short, it took less than 13 minutes to max out the $1,000 limit. I urge you to read the reports which are actual scripts of the shows. If you can walk away from that without demanding control over your name and personal data, then the “Apathetics” have truly taken over this country.

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