The Sun Sentential reports Florida Congressman Robert Wexler Targeted in Identity Theft Extortion.
Extortionist from Ghana threatened to turn over congressman's Social Security number to thieves. Other members of Congress also said to be targeted.
The alleged extortionist has been arrested and remains in custody in Ghana.
Wexler, D-Boca Raton, reported the plot to the Secret Service and Capitol Police.
His attorney Pamela J. Marple, issued a statement:
"Congressman Wexler greatly appreciates the professionalism and ongoing assistance of the United States Secret Service and Capitol Police regarding a matter where he was targeted as a member of Congress and was the victim of crime involving extortion and attempted identity theft. This remains an ongoing legal matter that will be closely monitored."
The Ghanaian telephoned Wexler this month while President Barack Obama was visiting Ghana, guarded by Secret Service agents. Wexler reported the matter to the Secret Service while they were in the country, which helped the investigation.The congressman, while understandably shaken that he was being extorted, should have already known his Social Security number is in the wild. Our social security numbers are in public records, databases, file cabinets, in school records and for sale over the internet.
- Be smart in knowing your Social Security number is already compromised. Over the past 5 years hundreds of millions of records have been stolen in major data breaches.
- Do everything you can to prevent your own data breaches by making sure anti virus is installed on your networks.
- Never use public PCs where spyware might be installed.
- Recognize that when using wireless in a hotspot your personal information is available for the taking.
- Do a scan in the public records in your state to see if your social security number is posted anywhere.
- Invest in Invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Prevention. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what's buzzing out there in regards to YOU.
- Get a credit freeze. Search "state credit freeze laws" online and lock down your credit to prevent new account fraud.