Sunday, February 25, 2007
Identity Theft. Are you going to blame the illegals for that too Mr. Lou Dobbs? Just stop being a xenophobic and anti Mexican because everything i can hear from you is Mexicans as Illegal inmigrants. What About China, Vietnam, India, Libano, Middle eastern Countries?
See the facts and not make assumption that illegal inmmigrants are the major problem on Identity Theft and look are your colleagues at CNN that reflecting the facts on it and not trying to sell books rather than inform the facts to the viewers.
Diana DeGarmo's stolen identity drama
Friday February 23, 6:00 am ET
Teenage "American Idol" contestant Diana DeGarmo worked hard to prepare herself for success in show business. Unfortunately, one less ambitious fan decided to help herself to DeGarmo's bank account the easy way: by stealing her identity.
DeGarmo, runner-up to season-three winner Fantasia Barrino, used TV's most popular show as a career springboard. To date, she has toured the country twice, with and without "Idol," performed on a USO tour to Iraq, released her first album "Blue Skies," and starred in two runs of the multi-Tony Award-winning musical "Hairspray."
At a glance
Name: Diana DeGarmo
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Education: Shiloh High School, Snellville, Ga.
Broadway debut as Penny Pingleton in revival of Tony Award-winning "Hairspray," Neil Simon Theater, New York, 2006
Horizon Award, Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards, 2005
Released debut album, "Blue Skies," in 2004. The single, "Dreams," went to No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Singles Sales Charts.
"American Idol," second place finalist to winner Fantasia Barrino, 2004
Finalist on "America's Most Talented Kid," 2002
Miss Teen Georgia, 2002
As a third grader, DeGarmo was a Coca-Cola kid, performing three shows a day at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Not bad for a 19-year-old.
But just as her career was lifting off, DeGarmo discovered someone had stolen her identity and was tapping her credit cards.
Bankrate caught up with DeGarmo on Broadway for an update.
Q. Shortly after "Idol," you became the victim of identity theft.
A. Well, somebody tried to steal my identity. This young fan decided to also attempt to take my credit card information and was purchasing things online.
Even the spyware that she was using on my computer was actually being purchased technically by my credit card. That was such a mess. I'm still dealing with it now and it's been almost a year, just trying to clean it up.
The sad thing is, anybody is susceptible to this, it can happen to anybody. I mean, don't think, oh, I'm safe, I've got this (spam blocker). It truly can happen to anybody.
Q. How did you discover your identity was being stolen? A. I was sitting up in New York when got a call from my mom in the middle of the night asking me, "What are you doing? Why are you buying stuff online? You just spent $3,000 on an Apple (computer), blah, blah, blah." I was completely dead asleep, and it was 3 in the morning. I asked her what she was talking about and she said, "Get on the computer right now and look at your statements." I got on the computer and it had all these things from all these different computer companies, different software and things. I was like, "I've never seen this before, I've never touched this. The only thing I ever bought online was shoes." That's how it all began.
Q. How did they acquire your information?
A. This person sent a key logger onto my computer, which is a form of spyware -- very similar to what terrorists use, scarily enough. The person can basically see a full mirror image of exactly what I'm typing on the computer and had broken into some e-mails between my mother and I and had gotten enough information through that. She knew my banker's name. It was crazy.
Q. What did you do then?
A. Finally, I had to pretty much shut everything down in order to get it all back, which, like I said, I'm still dealing with now. It's like a never-ending, uphill battle.
Q. How much did they steal using your card information?
A. I don't remember the exactly number, but it was into the thousands. Luckily, the credit card companies are good enough nowadays that if you call and say "Look, I did not do this," as long as you can prove it, they don't hold you responsible.
Q. Did they catch the thief?
A. They did catch her. It was a young woman. She's actually going to be sentenced in Australia in May. She was doing it all through the Internet.
Q. Did it have an impact on your credit rating?
A. As far as I know, no. I think everything is back to normal. For a minute there, it was a little bit of a scare, but as far as I know, everything is back to normal.
Q. A tough thing to go through just as you finally come into some money.
A. Yeah. The funny thing is, this person started to claim that I had a bejillion dollars and was trying to extort money out of me, saying "I'll give you back your information if you'll give me $1 million." I was thinking to myself 'You have really lost your mind now, lady!' (laughs) I don't have $1 million just to go handing out to people. Pick somebody else, OK? Not me. But it all comes with the territory, so I can't complain too much.
Senator Reid victim of identity theft
About $2,000 charged to minority leader's MasterCard
From Ted Barrett
CNN Washington Bureau
Thursday, July 27, 2006; Posted: 10:01 a.m. EDT (14:01 GMT)
Sen. Harry Reid lamented that the thief who stole his credit card number probably won't be caught.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid discovered this week he was the victim of identity theft after someone used his MasterCard number to charge about $2,000 at a Wal-Mart and other stores in Monroe, North Carolina.
The Nevada Democrat said he found out someone had obtained the number after opening his bill Tuesday night.
"It's not a tremendous inconvenience for me," he said. "I won't have to pay it."
But Reid said he is steamed about the fact the perpetrator likely will never be caught. "Something has to be done," he said, holding up his now-deactivated card.
Reid said he does not know how someone obtained the number or whether he has been the victim of a broader identity theft -- a problem that affects millions of Americans every year.