It made a little buzz in the States, but over in Dubai, as more details become available about the assassination of senior Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, it is becoming apparent to some (depending on which side of the wall you live on) that the assassins stole the identities of several Israelis carrying foreign passports.
Apparently, the purported identity theft stems the accessibility of passport data from Israelis who hold dual citizenship from Israel, Britain, Australia and other countries. "Six more Britons had their passports cloned by the killers of a senior Hamas official, " Dubai police said yesterday as they revealed a total of 15 new suspects in the assassination. One of the victims/accused assassin stated "I was in total shock. I don't know what's happening - I don't know how they got to me or my information. I haven't left the country in about two years, and I've never been to Dubai. I don't know who was behind this. It's just scary, because powerful forces are involved in this."
The Dubai police went ahead and released information on 26 suspects in the assassination. The pictures of the suspects were also released. One of the accused, after his mother saw him on the news stated, "Even my mother asked if I'd been abroad."
I was interviewed in a yet to be released AP story from Jerusalem about how something like this can happen. It seems simple to me. If in fact the accused are what I would label as criminal identity theft victims, then we are all susceptible to this type of crime. I've always believed this to be the scariest of all identity theft and if the above story concludes as factual, then it's a perfect example.
In the USA, we have as many as 200 forms of ID circulating including passports from state to state, plus another 14,000 birth certificates and 49 versions of the Social Security card. These are paper and plastic documents that can be recreated with a PC, scanner, printer and laminator. We use numerical identifiers that aren't physically associated with us. Pictures are attached to some documents that may not look like us. Especially if there are eye glasses involved, beards, hair coloring or hair removal, weight gain or loss. Some identification documents are absent of a photo. This is not effective authentication. World wide, the system isn't much more secure.
This is criminal identity theft waiting to happen.
At least protect your financial identity.
1. Get a credit freeze and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
2. Invest in anti-virus and keep it auto-updated and check out my spyware killer IDTheftSecurty HERE
4. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)
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