Former Thief Says Identity Theft is Easier Than You Think

id_theft_cartoonNews Channel 13Wham recently interviewed former identity thief convict, Dan DeFelippi, who testified to the fact that identity theft is a lot easier than you might think. Mr. DeFelippi explained that many underground websites provide crooks with tricks and how-tos.

“People actively write information and actively write tutorials,” DeFelippi said. “You can just get these lists, and it’s right there, spelled out.”

He also said that there are many underground sites out there where you can buy card numbers for just a few dollars each. After Defilippi’s arrest in 2003, he agreed to work with the Secret Service to help infiltrate the identity theft networks that he had once used himself. 

Defilippi went on to discuss how easy it is for thieves to use ATM skimmers to steal ATM user’s credit card numbers.

“If you can plug a camera into a computer and plug a VCR into a TV, you can do ATM skimming,” he said. “That’s as simple as it is.  You can buy the hardware–all you have to do is plug it in.”

The article concludes with some very helpful tips for how to keep yourself safe from ATM skimmers.

•    One way to know if a skimmer is attached is if you don’t see the flashing LED light where you insert the card, it could be covered by a skimmer.
•    Be wary of attached brochure containers which can easily hide cameras to record your PIN number.
•    Pick an ATM close to home and use it regularly so you become familiar with how it operates and can better note changes.
•    Drive-through ATM’s are good targets for thieves because drivers feel rushed by people behind them and don’t always pay attention.
•    The safest ATMs are inside a bank or store where people are around.
•    Be suspicious any time the ATM takes your card and PIN but then says it is out of order and can’t give you money.

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