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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Stealing elderly parents' identities a hidden, common crime

    Stealing elderly parents' identities a hidden, common crime

    By Bob Sullivan

    Child ID theft is a scourge of the digital age -- a terrible crime that often sees parents ruining their own kids’ futures by taking out mortgages, car loans and other financial obligations in their names. But a new study shows that another kind of family-based ID theft, which rarely grabs headlines, might be much more prevalent: Stealing the identities of elderly parents.

    Security firm ID Analytics looked at billions of credit applications and other related data recently to find people using the same Social Security number and last name, but different first names, with an eye toward determining the prevalence of child ID theft. The firm then narrowed the list by searching for pairs sharing SSNs who were 18 to 25 years apart in age, indicating a jump in generations. After tossing out typographical errors and other potential inaccuracies, the firm found roughly 500,000 kids in the U.S. under 15 sharing their SSNs and last names with adults who were 25-40, making them likely victims of ID theft by their own parents.

    But the massive data analysis turned up an even more dramatic finding when head researcher Stephen Coggeshall tried looking for people in their 70s and 80s who were sharing their SSN and family name with someone roughly 20 years younger. The result: More than 2 million elderly adults who are sharing an SSN with their adult children.

    "This was very surprising to me," Coggeshall said. "I didn't think there would be a substantially higher number than young parents using their kids' IDs."

    The study is imprecise. For example, it's sometimes not possible strictly through data analysis to determine who is the criminal and who is the rightful SSN holder.

    "But when you have a 60-year-old and an 80-year-old sharing an identity, it's unlikely that the 80-year-old is the one seeking credit," Coggeshall said.

    ID Analytics, which sells credit application fraud-detection services to a wide variety of firms, has a unique ability to peer inside credit data to look for trends. The firm sees more than 1 billion credit applications per year, and is able to identify criminals from patterns in the applications. For example, criminals often apply for credit simultaneously using the same stolen data at dozens of companies, hoping one or two won't catch the fraud. Similarly, criminals use stolen information with minor adjustments -- changing the birthday on each application by one day in sequence, like Nov. 1, Nov. 2, Nov. 3, etc. Individual banks can't detect such crimes, but ID Analytics can.

    The firm has recently turned to looking for macro trends in its data to help researchers examine larger ID theft trends. Last year, for example, ID Analytics announced that 40 million SSNs are attached to more than one name in the nation's credit system.

    Evidence of widespread prevalence of elder identity theft represents a new wrinkle in society’s battle against this digital age crime.

    “The realities of familial identity theft are far worse than anything you see in a soap opera. It is the ultimate in family betrayal,
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    "A prudent man foresees the evil...." but apparently so many people these days spend money like it is water and then go on to the next victim: The bank (as in bankruptcy) the investors, the government, the parents.
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Stealing From Grandma and Grandpa

    Stealing From Grandma and Grandpa

    By Gail Buckner
    Published June 13, 2011
    FOXBusiness

    When asked why he robbed banks, outlaw Willie Sutton famously replied, “Because that’s where the money is.
    NO AMNESTY

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