Identity theft is spreading its pawns very much proportional with the advent of Information Technology. And so the numbers of cases are also increasing. To list up some of the latest cases are discussed here.
Lately in central district of California, a woman pleaded guilty to federal charges of using a stolen Social Security number to obtain thousands of dollars in credit and then filing for bankruptcy in the name of her victim. More recently, a man was indicted, pleaded guilty to federal charges and was sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment for obtaining private bank account information about an insurance company's policy holders and using that information to deposit $764,000 in counterfeit checks into a bank account he established. Also in central district of California, two of three defendants have pleaded guilty to identity theft, bank fraud, and related charges for their roles in a scheme to open bank accounts with both real and fake identification documents, deposit U.S. Treasury checks that were stolen from the mail, and withdraw funds from those accounts.
In middle district of Florida. A defendant was indicted on bank fraud charges for obtaining names, addresses, and Social Security numbers from a Web site and using those data to apply for a series of car loans over the Internet. Also, in southern district of Florida, a woman was indicted and pleaded guilty to federal charges involving her obtaining a fraudulent driver's license in the name of the victim, using the license to withdraw more than $13,000 from the victim's bank account, and obtaining five department store credit cards in the victim's name and charging approximately $4,000 on those cards. In district of Kansas, a defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy, odometer fraud, and mail fraud for operating an odometer "rollback" scheme on used cars. The defendant used false and assumed identities, including the identities of deceased persons, to obtain false identification documents and fraudulent car titles.
In another recent case (name hidden to protect identity) Mr. B was looking forward to a relaxing holiday in South Africa, but for vigilant efforts of FBI, he was seized on arrival by airport police and thrown into a cell as one of America's most wanted criminals There the pensioner remained for more than a fortnight, whilst his family protested loudly that there had been a terrible mistake. The FBI stood by the arrest and said they believed they had the right man. Their Mr. B was a fugitive from justice who was wanted for a $5 million telemarketing fraud. They knew their suspect had used several identities in the past, including Mr. B and Mr. S. He was known to have traveled using a British passport. What's more, the captured Mr. B had the same date of birth as the suspect and even physically resembled him. The FBI eventually realized they had the wrong man after receiving an anonymous tip-off about where Mr. S really was - hiding in Las Vegas under the name Mr. G. FBI Agents were quick to arrest the Mr. G, and he soon admitted that he was the right man. After realizing they had two people in custody on the same charges, the US authorities knew the Mr. B in South Africa couldn't possibly be the right man. The FBI blamed identity fraud as the reason why the innocent Mr. B had been detained. The suspect had assumed the identity of the real Mr. B by using his date of birth, family history and passport number. He even managed to bear a resemblance to Mr. B on his passport photo. The real Mr. B's identity had been so thoroughly compromised that it took two weeks and the arrest of the 'real' fraudster before the mistake was realized. The South African Police Service said most of the details of the Mr. B they arrested matched those listed by the FBI on Interpol.
Whereas in another case after a seven-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, three defendants and two accomplices who had plundered the identities of the living and the dead were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. The gang had forged driving licenses, pay slips, and utility bills to steal the identities of real people who had previously lived in properties that were now vacant and up for sale. Operating from Colchester, Haverhill in Suffolk and East London, the gang stole the identities of 60 people across the country and used them to take out bank loans, overdrafts and credit cards. Typical identity fraud cases such as this require enormous amounts of police resources to investigate, and the crime often crosses Police authority boundaries making it more difficult to coordinate the investigation. It can therefore be difficult to detect and time-consuming to unravel. However, Suffolk and Essex Police worked together on this case, with between two and five officers working full time. Sixty innocent people needed to be interviewed, along with more than 100 bank accounts to be investigated. The fraudsters had been successful up to their arrest. The ringleader drove a £160k sports car and owned a number of Rolex watches, one of which was allegedly worth £30k. The gang first thought the Police were investigating them for minor cases of cheque fraud, and during the year-long investigation attempted to bribe Police officers, claiming that they could make a lot of money from doing what they did and share with the cops also. The 32 year-old ringleader from Essex was later sentenced to eight years imprisonment, whilst two others were jailed for 5 and 4 years respectively. The Judge described the crimes as complex and sophisticated.