No Big Surprise: Phisher Stole Thousands of Identities … to Support Meth Habit

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As is so often the case, what appears to be an evil mastermind plot really turns out to be a petty criminal looking to support their drug habit. This is as true of phishers as it is of the armed muggers of yore. Interestingly, GE Capital helped to make the identity and financial account theft easy enough for even the most strung-out druggie to accomplish.

According to court documents, three defendents arrested in what is being called an “international phishing ring” managed to steal tens of thousands of identities, acquire more than $200,000 in merchandise from Wal-mart using the stolen identities and money accounts, and obtain dozens of bogus credit cards and gift cards.

And it was all, by one defendant’s own admission, to support his methamphetamine habit.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this phishing case is that once they had stolen the identities from their victim’s Paypal and other online accounts, the criminals were able to apply for and receive credit cards at so-called “instant credit” kiosks that are often placed inside Wal-marts, and which are provisioned by GE Capital. By using the identities and other information they had stolen, they would open lines of credit at these instant credit kiosks, and GE Capital would spit out a receipt giving them as much as $2000 in credit at a pop.

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So much for the tightening of the loose granting of credit which helped lead to a country-wide recession.

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