Here’s an interesting story that hopefully raises your awareness of identity theft.
Gregory Kopiloff, from Seattle USA, has pleaded guilty to a number of fraud related crimes and has been jailed for 4 years. He used LimeWire to download tax and credit reports, bank statements and student financial aid applications that people had made available using this P2P system.
Why would anyone put sensitive documents on a file sharing program for everyone to see? Maybe the people who put these files up thought they have nothing to lose, that documents should be free and shared. Whatever the reason documents like these are sensitive and should not be shared, especially through anonymous file sharing programs like LimeWire.
Gregory used this information, as well as dumpster diving and mail theft, to commit identity theft. He obtained credit cards and debit cards under these people’s names and used them to spend US$73,000 in online purchases.
In this case it’s not the technology that’s at fault, it’s the misconceived value placed on financial documents by regular people.