March 28, 2012 by staff
Stolen Identity, Even the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft isn’t immune to identity theft, it seems. A simple scheme to defraud Paul Allen, one of the richest men in the world, has landed an AWOL soldier in federal custody, authorities said this week. The case raises basic questions about how safe anyone’s information can really be.
Federal investigators allege in a complaint unsealed Monday that Brandon Lee Price, 28, changed the address on a bank account held by Allen, then had a debit card sent to his Pittsburgh home to use for payments on a delinquent Armed Forces Bank account and personal expenses.
“Clearly, it’s a reminder that anyone can be a victim of this,” said David Postman, a spokesman for Allen. “It certainly is a surprise and reason for everyone to make sure that all that stuff is properly cared for and monitored.”
So, how would someone go about stealing the identity of the man who helped start a company that itself was a pioneer in digital security?
Price called Citibank in January pretending to be Allen and changed the address on one of Allen’s accounts from Seattle to Pittsburgh, then called back three days later to say he had lost his debit card and asked for a new one to be sent to him, an FBI investigator wrote in a criminal complaint filed in February.
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