YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FBI IDENTITY THEFT CASES...
And Congress Wasn't Afraid to Ask
Earlier this month
Chris Swecker, our top Criminal Investigative exec, testified before
the Senate Judiciary Committee on a subject close to all of our hearts...and
You know, that new
phenomenon that lets thieves clear out your bank accounts, borrow money
in your name, and open new bank and credit card accounts that can be
used to commit credit card fraud, check fraud, mortgage fraud, and
health care fraud...to name a few...and all at your expense.
We've used this
page many times to outline identity
theft scams and their consequences...and to tell you how
to protect yourself in the first place. But Chris takes a different
tack—he takes you behind the scenes to talk about numbers and
trends, challenges and investigative strategies.
We'd like you to
read the complete
testimony, but thought you'd be at least interested in some highlights.
We currently have over 1,600 active investigations
on the books...and expect the number to continue
increasing in the future.
- Since our Internet
Crime Complaint Center opened its door on the web in May 2000,
it has gotten over 100,000 identity theft-related complaints.
Why is identity
theft almost uniquely hard to quantify? Because it crosses
all investigative program lines—not only the universe of criminal
frauds, but also cyber crimes, violent crimes, organized crimes,
terrorism—any criminal or national security plot at all that
uses identity theft to get money and evade detection. And, in the
case of cyber scams, they can be launched from anywhere in the world.
we combatting it? Investigative partnerships with federal,
state, and local law enforcement (including dedicated task forces
in major cities). Information-sharing partnerships with every sector
of business, government, education, finance, communications, and
health. Reaching out to you to make sure you don't let it happen
to you...and opening a case when it does.
we preventing it? By developing financial crimes
intelligence from electronic commercial and government data sources,
which allows us to identify and stop criminal organizations in their
early stages. Read the full
testimony to learn how the FBI balances privacy concerns with
its investigative use of these commercial databases.
Bottom line: Chris
outlines four recent cases that show how criminals breach the security
of providers of public source data and run off with the names and social
security numbers of thousands of people. It's our aim to stop that