ID Theft the Old Fashioned Way

I always smile when people tell me they don’t trust online commerce. So that smile became a chuckle when I read about the theft of information from almost three-quarters of a million bank accounts at two major US institutions.

The best part? No technology was involved. Stealing information from online transactions and protected databases requires specialized hacking skills, patience, and money. Instead of going to all that trouble, the mastermind of this crime just paid bank staff $10 per account. The article says the suspect made millions by selling the information to collection agencies, and paid tens of thousands to the bank employees. By my math, that means that each $10 account was likely worth $1000 to his buyers.

Things to consider? Firstly, perhaps less human interaction with financial transactions makes our money safer. Secondly, the collection agency business may be much more lucrative than any of us suspect.

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