According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, roughly 7 percent of all households in the United States had at least one member experience identity theft in 2010. That may seem like a small number, but when you compound that figure annually, that means that roughly 8.6 million families are dealing with a new case of identity theft every year.
While this is far from a commendable crime, there are some thieves who are considered the best in the game, at least until they inevitably get caught. Here’s a look at a few famous thieves who made off with millions before ultimately losing the game.
- In 1999, a help desk worker named Phillip Cummings took a spreadsheet of logins and passwords from the office of the software firm he was currently employed at. When he quit, this information gave him access to roughly 33,000 credit reports, which he later sold for between $50 to $100 million.
- Abraham Abdallah was able to successfully fool several credit score companies into providing him with the credit information for some of the country’s most famous and wealthy individuals back in 2001. He ultimately was able to steal millions from such celebrities as Warren Buffet and Steven Spielberg before the jig was up.
- Malcolm Bird learned the hard way that his identity had been compromised when the police stormed his house back in 2003 and arrested him for possession of cocaine. He spent some time in jail before it could be proven that they had gotten the wrong individual and that Bird was in fact a victim.
These are just a few cases of fraud, and no two instances are the same. However, you can stay vigilant and keep the damage to a minimum if you do all you can to detect and fight it as early as possible, which credit monitoring can help accomplish.