Home > Articles > Business & Management > Finance & Investing

This chapter is from the book

Who Are Identity Thieves?

Identity theft is an equal-opportunity crime. Identity theft is done by organized crime both in the United States and in foreign countries around the world, particularly Eastern Europe. Much of the rash of recent hackings of companies and government agencies in order to steal personal information to be used for identity theft purposes can be traced back to Russia. A 17-year-old Russian hacker, Sergey Taraspov, is thought to have written the computer program used to attack Target late in 2013. Taraspov is alleged to have sold the program on the black market for $2,000.

Although the name of Bulgarian Aleksi Kolarov is probably not familiar to you, it probably should be. In 2014 he was convicted of identity theft in federal court in New Jersey. For years, Kolarov was one of the leaders and operators of the website Shadowcrew.com, a black market website where stolen credit cards, debit cards, and bank account information were sold to the approximately 4,000 members of the criminal website. It has been estimated that Shadowcrew was responsible for the theft of 1.5 million credit cards, debit cards, and bank account numbers, resulting in fraud losses totaling millions of dollars to the banks issuing the cards.

According to the FBI, a Russian organized crime gang responsible for the data breach at Neiman Marcus in 2013 was also responsible for the theft of more than 160 million credit cards from numerous other retailers over the previous seven years.

Identity theft, however, is not solely the province of organized crime. It is done by small-time hoodlums, street gangs, your fellow workers, and even members of your own family.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account