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Identity theft. things you should know

Updated on September 16, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A fourth person has pleaded guilty in a $2.1 million identity theft ring in which Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's wife was a victim.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Claire Barker of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to commit bank fraud in the nationwide scheme that involved at least 10 financial institutions.

Authorities say Barker admitted using fake IDs and stolen bank information to impersonate victims and cash illegal checks, draining their bank accounts.

Barker faces a maximum of 30 years in prison at sentencing Dec. 4. Two men and another woman earlier pleaded guilty.

Authorities say the victims included Anna Bernanke, whose purse was stolen outside a Capitol Hill coffee shop in August 2008.

This was one of an increasing number of identity theft cases that are now of serious concern to all law enforcement bodies around the world involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Identity theft happens in a multitude of ways. It can range from somebody using your credit card details illegally to make purchases over the Internet or telephone, through to having your entire identity assumed by another person to open bank accounts, take out loans, and conduct other business illegally in your name.

By introducing some practical precautions into everyday life, you can take an active role in reducing the risk that your identity may be used without your consent or knowledge. This kit ' How to prevent and respond to identity theft' contains useful information to help you identify where you might be vulnerable, and what to do, to avoid becoming an identity theft victim.

Firstly frequently change your pin numbers on your credit cards and site you use on the Internet. Especially the cards as the machines that are used to swipe the cards have been stolen and contain the information that can be deciphered. Do not disclose your address date of birth or banking details in response to any emails they are usually scams especially the one that claim that they need you account number and details so they can deposit your winning into them this is the first stage of identity theft. I got one a while back from a so called UK Lottery promotion saying that I had won 700,000 pounds in a worldwide Internet promotion and that they needed my details in order to deposit the fund into them. They used the real logo on the email together with the same font they use on the original site. I reported them to the real lotto and they said they get thousands of complaints about these scams al the time The British Fraud Office said that they had received multiple reports and that there was no need to longer report this they were investigating it already.


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    • profile image

      SafeCard 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC


      Man this is to scary!!

      We have to be so careful. I can not imaging what it would be like to have my ID taken. But I am trying to every thing I can so it will not be. Thanks for the great tips!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your comment Ask Jan no doubt the damage it caused will be with you for some time...

    • Ask Jan profile image

      Ask Jan 7 years ago from

      I also had my entire families identity stolen-What a nightmare. This is a serious problem.The crook who stole our identy is now behind bars. Great article.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      you did too Thanks Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      scary Barry, HOORAY I devirginized this hub LOL,the first to read, Maita