A 28-year-old AWOL soldier was recently arrested after attempting to steal the identity and gain access to the funds of billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The man, who has been wanted as a deserter since June 2010 for abandoning his position in the U.S. Army, was able to obtain a Citibank debit card in Allen’s name and have it mailed to his Pittsburgh home, according to Business Week.
Reportedly, the man was able to call Citibank and identify himself as Allen to have the man’s home address changed. Three days later he called back to say that he lost his debit card and needed another one reissued at the new address. The identity thief used the card to make a $658 payment to an Armed Forces Bank and attempted to process a $15,000 Western Union transaction. His other activity included purchases at a dollar and video game store. While only the loan payment was processed, police are currently investigating the matter and Citibank is looking into how the man was able to so easily access and change Allen’s account. Allen is one of the wealthiest men in the world with an estimated fortune of $14.2 billion.
Often, wealthy and famous people have their birth dates, addresses, and other personal information posted online which may explain how an identity thief can gain access to their accounts. Unfortunately, with online financial transactions, average citizens can have the same problem but without the added luxury of having enough money to remove such information completely or have a dedicated staff looking after their funds.
Riverside identity theft lawyer Howard D. Silver is committed to protecting the rights and finances of everyday citizens in California and can aid you in restoring your accounts and credit to normal after being victimized by an I.D. thief. For more information on how Mr. Silver can help you, call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver today at (855) 341-2611.