Identity Theft Follow-up

Here’s how things went after I was con­tact­ed by the com­pa­ny attend­ing CES in Las Vegas ear­li­er this month regard­ing some­one using a link to a post of mine in TechVibes tried to scam some free equipment:

I left a mes­sage with the Van­cou­ver police, and they con­tact­ed me the next day. I gave them the infor­ma­tion I had about the Mark Druck­er char­ac­ter in Vegas, and as instruct­ed, I called Equifax and put a 6‑year watch on my cred­it card accounts. Frankly, I’m fine with this. I’d always like to know when a cred­it card account is being opened (even if I do it), and a phone call con­fir­ma­tion is not that much of an incon­ve­nience. In fact, Dear Cred­it Card Com­pa­nies, would­n’t it be seen as an advan­tage that you take some pains to make sure that the cred­it card appli­ca­tions you are get­ting are legit? Come to think of it, isn’t bad cred­it on mort­gages what start­ed the whole down­ward spi­ral in the US econ­o­my last year?

At any rate, as far as I knew, that would be the end of my brush with a fraud­ster. Sil­ly me, I should have known that it was­n’t just one booth at CES that this guy would try to scam (although I don’t believe he pro­vid­ed my link this time, but sim­ply the Time Mag­a­zine sto­ry). This morn­ing I got an email from anoth­er ven­dor, who has com­ment­ed below. Here’s an excerpt:

Hel­lo David,
The arti­cle you wrote on ID Thief saved me and the com­pa­ny I work for a pile of money!  Recent­ly, I was an exhibitor at the CES show in Las Vegas.  A man named “Mark Druck­er” from TIME Mag­a­zine approached me at my booth and asked if he could write an arti­cle on my prod­ucts and that he would like samples.  He offered me an inter­view on an arti­cle he was going to write.  I thought, great!  This will give my prod­uct line huge expo­sure and PR!  I sent out all of my sam­ples this past Fri­day and began fol­low­ing up with my show leads.  I have been com­mu­ni­cat­ing with “Mark” over the phone and e‑mail.

I felt a lit­tle bit wary about this “Mark Druck­er” char­ac­ter because when I con­tact­ed TIME Mag­a­zine, they said there is no one by that name employed with the com­pa­ny! I decid­ed to Google his name.  My jaw dropped to the ground after read­ing your article/blog on Stop ID Thief.  I was able to con­tact UPS and have my sam­ples sent back to me before they were deliv­ered to “Mark Drucker.”

You saved me and I’m blessed to have read your arti­cle just in the nick of time.  It’s unfor­tu­nate that peo­ple like this are going around scam­ming peo­ple like me and you.  I want to thank you for post­ing your blog/article.  You have been a huge help and you have saved the com­pa­ny I work for a lot of mon­ey and time.  I will be con­tact­ing GES (com­pa­ny respon­si­ble for orga­niz­ing CES SHOW), the F.B.I. in Las Vegas in regards to this “Mark Druck­er” pho­ny, and TIME Magazine.  I might not get far, but it’s worth a try right?

He then includ­ed the guys local address and phone num­ber, which matched the one I had got­ten from the oth­er com­pa­ny. I’ve con­tact­ed the Van­cou­ver police and left a mes­sage that I’ve got some more infor­ma­tion on the this guy’s activities.

So I guess this is an exam­ple of a blog help­ing to fight back. I’m glad that it worked out, and it also shows that scam­mers may have a hard­er time get­ting away with their rus­es, although it does depend on the infor­ma­tion about the scam get­ting out in time. Still, it gives me a lit­tle hope that a blog can actu­al­ly help in a sit­u­a­tion like this. And if the gen­tle­man from Vegas is in fact read­ing this, he should now know that more than one ven­dor is on to him.

5 Replies to “Identity Theft Follow-up”

  1. David,

    Nice talk­ing with you over the e‑mail. If you are still in con­tact with the Van­cov­er police, I may be of more help with the fact that This “Mark Druck­er” is still email­ing me. When he emails me, that means we have his IP Address. Per­haps this can be of assis­tance to the police? I also have his AOL (Amer­i­ca Online) email address if you need it. Thanks again! Eddie

  2. My sym­pa­thies, David. I hope they catch this guy. I like the idea that a blog or web pres­ence is use­ful in actu­al­ly pre­vent­ing ID theft instead of mere­ly enabling it.

  3. Hi Jonathon — I had the same thought. In a way, blogs can be a sort of ‘rep­u­ta­tion shield’. At least until the id theives start using this against us as well (i.e. break­ing in and mak­ing fake posts on one’s behalf).

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