Post Disaster Identity Theft Scams

I have been busy - so I have fallen behind in my posts. I have been very busy at my "real job" and a Hurricane has hit my home ( all is basically ok) - so I have been distracted.

Con-men - and con-women take advantage of those most distracted. Actually, when you think about it, distraction is a key factor in the con. To pull off the con all you need to do is have a distraction, cause a distraction while you pull the actual con.

There are not a lot of things more distracting than a hurricane! For those of you that know me, my home was right in the path of the brunt of Hurricane Ike. Fortunately no flooding and limited damage.

So what about the scams?

It seems that there are those who are trying to take advantage of limited power, possibly no phone service, and even no NCIC/TCIC checks by police after a Hurricane.

My wife contacted me (remember I am in Liberia at the moment) concerned over some calls that made her suspicious that someone was pulling off some identity theft scams. She reported it to the police, but their whole system was down like many of the phone lines so they could not do much.

Here is the shameless plug part - I was able to track down someone involved in the scam through two different services. I could not do it with just one of them. I am not sure why, but that is the way it worked out. I tried a reverse email search with Net Detective Plus (link on top of page) and came up empty. I was able to get a reverse email lookup from CIS - the same company as the person search box on this blog which accesses Court Records.org. However, there was not much information on the person by name and address from CIS. So I went back to the Net Detective, and I was able to get a date of birth and phone number on the person. My wife passed the information on to police.

How the scam may work:

I believe that the scammers check on people in the path of the storm where they know there may be no phone or internet service (not to mention power). Also people may still be displaced or returning to the area after evacuation. They try to make purchases or get loans with your name and phone number. Of course you are displaced, so you are now using a "different" phone number.

The fortunate thing is that these folks had not gotten specific details like social security number and the like. However, some companies rush things for storm victims as their way of assistance in a time of need, so they may skip some of the details they normally check.

I do not have a final version to this story yet, but I will shortly, and I will update the post.

2 comments:

  1. Great article.
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    ReplyDelete
  2. I checked out your site - it is an interesting and useful service. Thanks for stopping by here.

    ReplyDelete

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