Most of us like nice things, whether you dream of owning a mansion or sports car, or wish you could take a long vacation to Europe. What’s to stop a criminal from making these dreams a reality? Surprisingly little. In fact, having your personal information is essentially a free ticket to a shopping spree.
One recently apprehended identity thief did just that, using the identities of more than 750 victims to live a lavish lifestyle. Iguosade Osahon, a Nigerian-born 28-year-old man, just plead ‘not guilty’ to charges that the $500,000 he stole from identity theft victims financed a lifestyle of Rolex watches, Tiffany jewelry, and Louis Vuitton bags.
A recent story in the NY Daily News explains how he did it. First, Osahon stole the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of his victims. According to prosecutors, he purchased the stolen personal information of more than a dozen Manhattan residents through online data traffickers. By focusing on residents of wealthy zip codes, he was able to finance an extravagant lifestyle.
Then, he ordered credit reports through Experian and TransUnion, which were readily available using the information he had already obtained from his victims. This information allowed hm to access to victims’ bank and credit card accounts, and he began racking up charges in their names. Having good taste may not be a crime, but stealing more than 750 people’s identities definitely is. Osahon was charged with 147 counts of identity theft, grand larceny, and computer tampering.
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