California Man Faces 101 Years in Prison for Identity Theft

by Eric Hartwell - Date: 2007-01-17 - Word Count: 267 Share This!

A man in California is facing a prison sentence of up to 101 years after a jury found him guilty of e-mail scams. The 45-year-old man, Jeffrey Goodin, made several thousands of dollars using his sophisticated computer scam. Using hacked computers and false data, he would write e-mails to many thousands of AOL users. His e-mails would suggest that their AOL accounts would be closed unless they were able to "confirm personal details."

These activities are part of the widening range of phishing scams circulating around the Internet and around the world. Using these scams, criminals are able to falsify who they are and they use sophisticated methods to fool the recipients into thinking that e-mails and other communications are from a reliable source. Their aim is to extract personal data including names, dates of birth, bank account numbers and passwords.

The illegal use of sensitive data such as this is widespread. At best, this can cause concern to the victim and a good deal of time energy and money rectifying the situation. At worst, criminals can steal all the victim's financial assets, leaving them penniless and sometimes homeless. There have been reports of illegal gains being used for terrorist activities as well.

Goodin managed to hack into a number of EarthLink accounts and then send mails to the appropriate AOL customers. He collected their personal data when customers were worried that their AOL accounts were possibly to be terminated. Unfortunately, activities such as this are widespread and, more importantly, those that carry out his crime are very hard to catch as they hide behind false names and hacked computers.

Related Tags: identity theft, phishing, email scams

For further information and resources on identity theft, internet crime and online security visit the New Identity Theft website operated by Eric Hartwell.

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