Workplace Identity Theft Economies of Scale

Identity theft speaker John Sileo on why identity theft is moving into the workplace.

It feels as if there has been a directional shift in the past year regarding the source of data theft. From the stories I hear after every identity theft speech I deliver, the crime of data theft, identity theft and intellectual property theft are becoming more organized and moving much more into the realm of workplace identity theft and corporate data theft (i.e., it’s happening at work even more than out of our homes). The information being stolen is still often times consumer-based, but it is being compromised more often at the business level.

I think one factor contributing to this shift into the working environment has been the decline in the value of identity information. The average social security number or bank account number is worth far less on the black data market than it was even a year ago. This means that in order to make large sums of money, the thieves need to increase volume.

Instead of stealing identities one at a time, they are going for mass-data thefts, like the one that hit Heartland Payment Systems a few weeks ago. Naturally, these large thefts tend to involve more technology breach (stolen laptops, sniffed networks, botnets, malware, hacked servers, etc.) because that is where high concentrations of data live. Just like the rest of business, it’s all about economies of scale!

The interesting part to me is the role that insiders play in these schemes. Almost every breach I come across has an “insider” component to it. So the answers aren’t just technological, they are rooted in leadership, teamwork, hiring and vetting processes and the like.

1 reply
  1. Scott Herman
    Scott Herman says:

    Hi my name is Scott Herman I am a former Identity theif I started stealing personal information in 1998 working as a car salesman in springfield, Illinois after talking with John and sharing my story about how I obtained my personal information to give you a brief summary how i started obtaing personal information and how i used it I made a phone call to my insurane company and i provided my name the customer service rep asked me what scott Herman I was that she had several in her system living in differnt states jocking around I asked her what states are they living in she provided all that information I again decided to call to see how easy it would be to get thier personal information how freely they would be to provide a social security number after several calls i was given the social security numbers of 10 people with the same name as me I then went to a deparment store after running their credit and applied for a instore credit card I was approved instantly using my identifiers i continued this cycle until I was arrested on a unrelated matter in my briefcase thier was several credit reports that the police found they had no idea what they was or why i had them identity theft was not reconized back then after i decided not to wait around for the police to investigate i went on a seven state shopping spree until I was arrersted for using the information of one of the Scott Herman was released and contined with anouther type of identity theft shopping obituaries looking for prime targets to fit the profile i was looking for once I found my target I would call the funeral home and request a death certificate it supplied all the personal information I needed to continue my crime spree all said and done I stole over $300,000 in a 5 month period and revieved several years in federal prison were I learned new ways to sharpen my skills I was at it again for about 8 months until I slipped and the FBI ney me and my profile and I went back to Federal Prison Now I have spent several months designing a prevention pamhlet to educate victims and potential victims on prevention I am looking to start doing seminars and workshops to educate people I owe alot to my victims and I cant pay back a monetary amount but I can pay back my restitution to my community by providing information on identity theft awarness I have alot of knowledge when it comes to this crime John can teach you from a victims point of view but to learn from an identity thief goes along way I am will answer any questions or if you would like a copy of my pamphlet please forward your mailing address oremail me with any questions at [email protected]


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