The criminal complaint filed in U.S.A. v. Brandon Lee Price, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 12-152 M, essentially claims that Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen was the target of an identity theft.  As reported at “Identity Thief Targets Billionaire Allen”, suspected identity thief Brandon Lee Price of Pittsburgh supposedly tried to illegally transfer $15,000 from Mr. Allen’s Citibank account.

“Identity Thief Targets Billionaire Allen” raises the question of how identity thefts are carried out.  It observes that identity thieves might obtain a bank customer’s account information from the trash.  Armed with this type of information, the thieves then attempt to impersonate the bank customer and illegally access bank accounts.  The article indicates these thieves can employ spyware and computer hacking to steal personal information.  This kind of hacking was utilized by identity thief Albert Gonzalez, who was accused of stealing 130 million credit / debit cards by fraudulently accessing computers at Heartland Payment Systems.

Some bank tellers, medical office staff, etc., too illegally provide identity thieves with a prospective victim’s personal identifying information like social security numbers and dates of birth.  Determined identity thieves also carry out their crimes through forged documents, pretext calls, mail intercepts or by obtaining a corporate director’s personal information from public registries.

The following Asset Search Blog articles describe methods identity thieves employ:

  1. A Tax Fraud & Identity Theft From Miami
  2. Identity Theft & An Impersonator On The Phone
  3. Committing Bank Fraud Through Identity Thefts
  4. Concealing Cash By Laundering In Lithuania
  5. Pretexting During An Asset Search

Copyright 2012 Fred L. Abrams