Approximately nine million people get their identities stolen each and every year in the world. Many people find a way to hack and steal someone’s credit card numbers, personal information, and social security numbers. There are many different reasons why so many people steal other people’s identities and information. Reasons why people steal your license information is so they can buy or lease cars, to rent a house or apartment, obtain utility service information, and to open new phone accounts in the name they stole the information from. The main reason why people steal social security numbers is so they can apply and receive medical benefits in that name. Finally they steal a victim’s cash or information through different purchases at stores through trash. They do this so they can open credit card accounts, create counterfeit checking accounts, open new banking accounts, and taking out loan in that name.
One identity theft case that stood out the most to me was of a 34 year old woman named Reon Jordan from Los Angeles, California. Reon Jordan is a student at West Los Angeles College taking classes to become a licensed medical biller. She was also a former employee since 2008 at ABEO , which is a medical billing company in Los Angeles, California. At this job all employees were able to access thousands of client profiles. Officials started to investigate on Jordan when some of the college employees reported suspicious transactions totaling over $1,000 at a time. At that time the ABEO was looking for someone who was stealing patients’ information when the patients were handing in their medical bills to the company. After a long nine month investigation and a grueling search through hundreds of pieces of information, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Community College Bureau arrested Reon Jordan on Tuesday March 3, 2014. It has been said that she was capable of being in possession of 400 identity profiles and complete credit card information of 200 people. Jordan was found to be using fraudulent credit card to buy many different things on campus. She also used three different names to buy “gift receipts” which were like gift cards that the students at the college could use to pay for their classes. Reon Jordan was using both the credit cards to buy very expensive jewelry that she couldn’t buy before, hair extensions, designer clothing, as well as airplane flight tickets so she could go on vacations to Alaska.
Reon Jordan was in courthouse in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday March 4, 2014. She was booked on charges of grand theft, burglary, and unauthorized use of personal identifying information. She was also charged with 24 counts in identity theft cases and three counts of multiple identifying identity theft. Identifying identity theft means that Jordan was identifying identities so she could hack into their personal information. On Wednesday’s court hearing , Reon Jordan was set on bail for $1. 9 million. As well as 19 years in county jail if convicted as charged. It has been said that there are victims ranging throughout the whole United States. Some of these victims range from Los Angeles, Torrance, Santa Monica, Malibu and Mammoth Lakes, as well as some all the way from Tennessee and Mississippi. Reon Jordan stole the information physically and electronically. She stole the information physically by taking information from clients’ papers. When thousands of people handed in their medical bills to the ABEO, Jordan thought that it was a good idea to steal information off of them. As well as stealing the persons credit card numbers when they paid for their medical bills. She stole the information electronically off of her work computer. At her company, Reon was able to look through customers’ bills that they handed in on the ABEO online website. Jordan had many different opportunities to steal the information and she took control and did what she felt like was the right thing to do.
The common form of identity theft Reon Jordan used to receive the information is called pretexting. This is because Jordan acquired or received the personal information through false and illegal means. She did not use the other common forms, pretexting or phishing, because she did not use pop-ups, spams, fake websites, or malicious code to redirect users to sites where hackers could steal their personal information. There were not many ways that this incident could have been prevented. People were just handing in their medical bills to their billing company not expecting their information to be stolen and used against them. But there were some simple and easy steps that could have saved these people money, time, and effort. The first thing all the 400-600 people could have done was to just put a credit freeze on their credit card. “The best way to protect yourself in relation to identity theft is, always put a lock on you credit card ,” said sheriff Deputy Nikos Guscos. By putting a lock on your credit card you are helping yourself so much. A credit lock means that lenders (an organization or person that lends you money) and other companies won’t be able to view your credit, and it prevents the consumer (someone who purchases goods and service for personal use) from gaining access to any new loans. As well as keeping fraudsters from opening any accounts in the name of the person they stole from.
Another way all of this could have been prevented was to look at your credit each and every month. “And always , monthly look at your credit. Make sure no one’s opening up an account in your name, or anything in that nature,” added sheriff Deputy Nikos. By looking at your credit every month you would be able to see if anything has been changed or added to what you have used your credit card for. Either one of these ways would have worked to help prevent the 400-600 identities that have been stolen. But the easier, far less time consuming, and the least expensive way that could have helped prevent this would be putting a credit freeze on your card. “A credit freeze is both cheaper and far more effective than credit monitoring,” says Rideout. As you can see identity theft can happen anywhere and anytime even when you don’t expect it to happen. Each and every day at least 100 people get their identities and credit card numbers stolen. It is one of the most destructive ways to taking someone’s money and it is one thing that will surely destroy your lifestyle.