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Microsoft Co-Founder Becomes Victim of Low-Tech Identity Theft

Paul Allen (yes, that Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft) must’ve been shocked when he discovered that someone impersonated him to access his bank account. And not just anyone — 28-year-old Brandon Lee Price is an Army soldier who had gone AWOL two years before.

It hasn’t been confirmed if the soldier knew who he was targeting here, but his decidedly old-school approach could be a tip-off. (After all, who’d try to hack a tech legend’s cyber security?) Instead, Price merely called Citibank last January, changed the address from Seattle to Pittsburgh and asked for a new debit card to be shipped. What’s surprising is that Citibank complied. Price then went and charged up more than $15,000 to pay off debts and stock up at the local Game Stop and Family Value Store.

Needless to say, he got caught. Price was arrested on March 2 on federal charges of bank fraud and wire fraud, and will likely also face charges with the Army as well.

All this makes me wonder if everyone’s so hot to focus on high-tech crimes that we forget that the time-tested, old-fashioned tactics are still out there. (Well, at least I’m pretty sure Allen won’t forget now.)

[via AP/The Wall Street Journal]


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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