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Forbes 400 Targeted by ID Thieves 51

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the where-the-money-is dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Numerous media outlets have been reporting this story about an ID theft ring which targeted the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. It seems that Igor Klopov, a 24 year-old Russian citizen, was the ring leader and was caught after attempting to pick up $7 million in gold that he was using to launder the money. It goes to show that anyone can be the target of identity theft, as they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus."
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Forbes 400 Targeted by ID Thieves

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  • Wanna bet... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:09AM (#20275707) Homepage Journal
    >they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus.

    I'll bet the freeze on that record went through without any quibbles or extra charge.
    • Nope it would not have been so easy for him.
      Remember the scene in Transformers where the Special Forces unit calls Qatar to a call center who does not recognize the emergency and refuses to forward the call to Pentagon??

      Something similar should have been done to Transunion President who tried to freeze his credit report.
      After listening to soothing music for 30 mins, he should have been transferred to a call center monkey with a scripted response: "Am sorry sir. I would have to disconnect you now for your la
    • I'll bet the freeze on that record went through without any quibbles or extra charge.

      No kidding. Like when Senator Ted Kennedy ended up on a no-fly list ... a phone call later and he was off of it. The rest of us don't have such options.
  • only 1m? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adamruck (638131) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:12AM (#20275731)
    I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks. I imagine that these guys would have gotten away no problem.

    Along the opposite side, the article talks specifically about the group stealing 1m from an individual. If your one of the richest 400 in America, surely you have more than 1m in bank right? I wonder if they group wanted to stay under a certain amount of cash for a particular reason.
    • Re:only 1m? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:19AM (#20275769)
      I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks.

      Instead of 7 million in gold they would score a box of obsolete computer parts and case of Pabst.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      At this point, I would call them Joe Seven-Packs. I mean, 6 figure incomes wouldn't do it in this day and age if you are trying to stay under radar. You want to go after the 7 and 8 figure income earners.
    • Re:only 1m? (Score:4, Funny)

      by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Saturday August 18, 2007 @11:46AM (#20276491) Journal
      I wonder what would have happened if these people weren't the 400 richest Americans, and instead 400 Joe sixpacks. I imagine that these guys would have gotten away no problem.

      Exactly, mostly because the Forbes people are famous enough to be recognized. I imagine the takedown went something like this:

      Russian ID Thief: Ch-alo, yes. I am zee Hopera Vindfeeeed. I am chh-here to be pickings up zee gould vat is mine.
      Gold merchant: OK, let me just bag that for you and... wait a second...

    • Hey, if you're going to steal identities, why not go for the gold?

      *ducks*

  • obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by eneville (745111)
    In Soviet Russia, Forbes 400 finds ID fraudsters.
  • by e1618978 (598967) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:29AM (#20275853)
    I imagine that the publicity from being on the Forbes list would be a huge disadvantage (people would try to kidnap your kids, hit you up for money, recognize you in the market, etc), which makes me think that there are a lot of billionaires that are actively trying to avoid being on the list. Who knows if that Mexican guy is really the richest person - Maybe Bill Gates wasn't even in the top 10? Also, I wonder if there are a lot of attempts at bribery of the Forbes reporters from people who want to stay off the list...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)
      If I were a billionaire, I'd sure as hell do whatever I could to keep a low profile. Rich? great. Famous? No, thanks.

      -jcr
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      From what I know, the Forbes list is based on income declared for tax purposes. As such most of those rich people would actively try to declare as little income as possible in order to avoid tax. So I would not be surprised that some of those on the Forbes list actually have far more money in offshore accounts etc... which they do not declare.

      And I can tell you I know of a few people who are magnitudes richer then those in the Forbes list, but they are not on the list because they do not declare any income
    • by etnu (957152)
      The forbes wealth list is calculated based almost entirely on what's available under the public record (stock holdings, income, etc.) Based on that, you can assume a few things: - Most of the people on that list (especially the less than reputable ones) have a lot more money than forbes is reporting. - There are many people who have no "public" income who are on that list (not just criminals, either -- there are probably many people who simply sit on top of a lot of cash, gold, and other valuables. Perhap
  • Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:31AM (#20275861)
    You know the saying about infecting the world leaders with AIDS and having a cure in a year. Maybe this does the same, now that it hits someone who "matters"...
    • If THAT were true... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by doug141 (863552) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:52PM (#20277109)
      We wouldn't have this:

      Approximately $3040 is spent on AIDS research for every one death caused by the disease. In comparison, only $37 is spent on cardiovascular disease per death caused by the disease.

      Source:
      http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/152003/is _too_much_money_allocated_to_aids.html [associatedcontent.com]
      • Approximately $3040 is spent on AIDS research for every one death caused by the disease. In comparison, only $37 is spent on cardiovascular disease per death caused by the disease.

        How many people die of AIDS a year? How many of CV disease? Which one has been around for much longer and is much better understood? Are we looking at figures worldwide or in the US? A statement like this, while it sounds significant, is ultimately pretty meaningless. And that source hardly looks objective.

      • by edschurr (999028)
        Does there need to be such money spent on cardiovascular disease? Does that money for AIDS pay off in other ways? AIDS involves multiple viral infections and other illnesses, and is caused by a virus too. What are the average ages of people who die with cardiovascular diseases and AIDS? It seems to be past 70 years for heart disease and 45 years for AIDS. How easily can each be reversed? Presumably you can change your lifestyle to mitigate heart disease when you're at risk, but with AIDS you're entirely dep
        • by doug141 (863552)

          Presumably you can change your lifestyle to mitigate heart disease when you're at risk, but with AIDS you're entirely dependant on medicine

          A bias has to be deeply entrenched for anyone to say something this stupid.
          • by edschurr (999028)
            And how entrenched does a bias have to be for someone to make conclusions from insufficient information and then insult people who question him?
  • Now maybe some real measures will be done about the rampaging problem of ID theft.

    Why do we have to pay three separate organizations to be more judicious about how they share our information? Especially when we have no control over how they got it to begin with.

    I'm referring to placing a lock on your credit files _before_ an ID theft occurs. I'm lucky enough to live in a state that passed a law giving me this 'ability'. The big three ID theft enablers--I mean credit reporting organizations do not have to
    • by SL Baur (19540)

      Now maybe some real measures will be done about the rampaging problem of ID theft.
      You must be new here.

      The problems were first described and warned about over a decade ago and the policies pursued since then deliberately welcome ID theft. Read old cypherpunks mailing list archives or Tim May's cyphernomicon.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @10:51AM (#20276015) Journal
    > arrested attempting to pick up $7 million in gold that he was using to launder the money.

    $7 million to do the laundry? This sounds like the work of Judge "No Pants" Pearson. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/08/f irst_pants_man_loses_case_nex.html [washingtonpost.com]
    • I'm still trying to figure out how he was going to pack $7 million worth of gold bars into the laundromat machine...

      The spin cycle would have been interesting to watch.

  • So, I am glad to see their president, leader of crooks targeted to be robbed.

    Transunion, like all other credit bureaus, sells your info to collectors to rip you off, and they sell you the same data even tho it is your data.

    Fuck all of them I say.
  • Now thats justice if i have ever seen it.
  • by whitroth (9367)
    Was it Pretty Boy Floyd who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, "that's where the money is"?

                    mark
  • It sure would be nice if the DAs in this country took identity theft crimes targeting the Forbes 270,000,000 list just as seriously as they appear to be taking crimes against the Forbes 400 list.

    It also would be nice if the press called them out on it once in a while, especially during a press conference announcing the arrests of these criminals where the Manhattan DA spewed the nonsense about being tough on identity crime.
  • "they even went after the President of Transunion, one of the credit reporting bureaus." They'd better be good at stealing identities; they'll never be able to use their own again! :-)

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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