Recently, federal authorities arrested Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer hacking. The two men were part of an identity theft crime ring that hacked into the computers of a mortgage broker, stealing mortgage applications containing tremendous amounts of personal information, such as names, birth dates and Social Security numbers that they used to turn to make those people victims of identity theft. Among the things that they were able to do was take over their victims’ brokerage accounts by providing personal information they had obtained from the hacking into the mortgage broker’s computers and changing passwords. They then wired money from the taken over accounts to their own accounts.
This case is another example of the fact that regardless of how protective you are of your personal information, you are only as secure as the place with the weakest information that holds your personal information. it is a good idea to ask of any company that holds your personal information about their data security. In addition, you should ask that companies that may initially have a reason to hold your personal information, such as when you are applying for a loan, delete that information when it is no longer necessary for them to hold that information. It is also important to have difficult to guess security questions for your accounts so that if someone does get access to personal information about you, they do not provide the identity thieves with the information necessary to guess the answer to your security questions.