ID Thief Fights Crimes – That in the past…He Helped Commit
It’s a rare occasion when an ID Thief fights crimes they actually helped commit. Brett Shannon Johnson is one of the few, who stepped away from the dark side. He now works with law enforcement to actually help prevent ID theft crimes, he once helped perfect. There was a time when he was on the Secret Service’s “Most Wanted List”! He was busted several times and spent more than six years behind bars. Maybe that’s why he decided to turn over a new leaf.
Johnson recently spoke about his crime spree and shared his insight into the criminal mind during an interview with NBC news. Here is a quote from Johnson:
“Cybercrime is not rocket science, it’s extremely easy”. “These days someone, who has no experience at all, can take classes on how to commit these crimes. They can buy tutorials or partner with others. All the necessary tools they use are basically off-the-shelf products”.
Johnson goes on to say: “I didn’t care who the victim was, I always tried to justify it. I told myself, I’m not ripping off the person, I’m ripping off the store or the government or the bank…and they could afford it”.
Some Of The Crimes He Committed:
~ His life of crime started at the age of 10 – Shoplifting.
~ Insurance Fraud – by getting a payout from a phone car accident.
~ Scamming people on Ebay – by selling non-existent merchandise.
~ Filing fake tax returns and requesting refunds of dead people – who hadn’t yet been reported as ‘deceased’ to the IRS. It only took him six minutes to file a bogus return, using stolen info. He made $6,000 a week, doing so.
YOU MUST TAKE ID THEFT SERIOUSLY – OR ELSE….
The Equifax data breach, which happened in September of 2017, exposed the personal info of almost every adult U.S. citizen. Compromised records included the social security numbers, birthdates, names and addresses of 145.5 million Equifax customer files. This information is priceless to a criminal!
Social Security numbers and birthdates cannot be changed and never expire. Those 145.5 million victims, who were affected by the Equifax breach, will now have to be ever-vigilant for the rest of their lives!
Every year, we break another record for the number of successful data breaches. There were 1597 data breaches as of the end of December, 2017. Tax ID Theft, Employment ID Theft and Medical ID theft will increase exponentially as a result of the Equifax breach alone.
ID Thieves have continued to adapt and morph their techniques and scams to snag many more millions of unsuspecting victims. Account take-over grew (by 36 percent), resulting in losses of $2.3 billion. Tens of millions of Robocalls are blasted out each day, for a total of 30 billion calls in year 2017 alone. ATM and gas station skimming devices are ubiquitous. Cybercrime and Ransomware are a growing threat for citizens and companies worldwide.
CRIMINALS HAVE IT A LOT EASIER NOW…
In previous years, an ID thief would have to buy stolen information from other criminals on the dark web – an underground black market where personal information is bought or auctioned off to the highest bidder. Before the Equifax breach, criminals were never really certain whether the info they gleaned was correct. Since the Equifax breach, they now know the information is genuine.
A criminal can easily file a false tax return, get a job, get free medical care, take over social security accounts, apply for student loans, take over a credit account or open up new credit accounts. In other words, the sky’s the limit for ID thieves.
UNLESS CONSUMERS GET MAD AS HELL, NOTHING WILL CHANGE!
Privacy is a thing of the past. No one, dead or alive, is immune from the perils of Identity Theft. Individuals must take matters in their own hands. The Federal Government needs to get serious about tackling this crime spree or the problem is only going to get worse for ALL of us! It is now just a matter of when it will happen to you.
Please don’t shoot the messenger! I’m just trying to enlighten you!!!