Identity Theft Expert Speaker; Health center workers used deceased patient info to apply for loans

Identity Theft Expert Speaker Robert Siciliano discusses Health center workers used deceased patient info to apply for loans.

Medical identity theft  means lots of things depending on how the person was victimized. Generally something needs to impact the person medical record. In other cases it may impact their health insurance. The thief may gain insurance money, drugs or medical procedures.

Below is a case that resulted in financial identity theft due to health care professionals having access to deceased clients records. The insidiousness of the crime victimizes the family members after their loved-one has departed. Leaving them to clean up the mess. In the case below the perps got greedy and were caught. If they werent so greedy they may have got away with it over an extended period of time.

This case represents a flawed system that relys on Social Security Numbers as identifiers and makes no effort to properly identify and authenticate the borrower.

By Valryn Warren

Staff Writer

Friday, December 26, 2008

ENGLEWOOD — Two Samaritan North Health Center employees indicted on identity theft and money laundering charges used information from deceased patients to apply for online loans, police said Friday, Dec. 26.

Linda McDermott-Dorsey and Lisa Kidd, both of Trotwood, were indicted Dec. 23. McDermott-Dorsey is charged with 11 counts of money laundering and one count of identity theft, Kidd with 19 counts of money laundering and one of identity theft.

Englewood Police Sgt. Mike Lang said Samaritan North Health Center did an internal investigation and then called police, after being contacted by an on-line loan company the women are accused to trying to swindle.

“It was really a case of due diligence by the hospital and online companies monitoring suspicious transactions from the same location,” he said. “When we conducted our investigation, the families of the deceased were unaware that anything like this had happened.”

Lang said the women allegedly obtained a little more than $7,000 using information from 24 people over about a five week period, May-June 2007. They checked newspaper obituaries and used the hospital computer system to gather the personal information of deceased persons who had been Good Samaritan Hospital patients, Lang said.

The money laundering charges stem from online bank accounts opened and used to transfer funds. No court date has been set.

Identity Theft Expert Speaker FTC Issues Report on Social Security Numbers

Identity Theft Expert Speaker Robert Siciliano discusses FTC Issues Report on Social Security Numbers and Identity Theft. Agency Makes Five Recommendations to Reduce Role of SSNs in Identity Theft

All of this below makes total sense. And each recommendation is a step in the right direction to solve the problem. But until all citizens are properly identified and authenticated, the problem wont go away.  Currently there isnt any accountability. With full authentication, accountability becomes possible. Further, the credit bureaus and others relying on readily accessible SSNs are exasperating the problem. Fraud alerts across the board requiring all credit applicants to authenticate will begin to solve the problem.


The Federal Trade Commission issued a report today recommending five measures to help prevent Social Security numbers from being used for identity theft. Principal among the report’s recommendations is that Congress consider taking action to strengthen the procedures that private-sector organizations use to authenticate their customers’ identities.

“Identity theft continues to be a major problem in this country, with victims numbering in the millions each year and out-of-pocket losses (primarily to businesses) in the billions of dollars,” the report states.

The FTC report states that adopting nationwide standards for how businesses and other organizations verify the identity of new and existing customers would make it harder for identity thieves to use SSNs and other stolen information to consummate their fraud.

“The first step in minimizing the role of SSNs in identity theft is to limit the demand for SSNs by making it more difficult for thieves to use them to open new accounts, access existing accounts, or obtain other benefits or services,” the FTC states in the report. Currently, the only private-sector organizations subject to nationwide authentication standards are financial institutions regulated by the federal banking agencies. The FTC’s report recommends that Congress consider establishing similar standards to cover all private-sector entities that maintain consumer accounts. Such standards would require organizations to adopt reasonable procedures for authenticating customers, but also would allow them to adopt a program that is compatible with their size and the nature of their business, the report states.

The FTC report also recommends that steps be taken to reduce the unnecessary display and transmission of SSNs, but noted that such restrictions must be approached carefully. A number of important functions in the U.S. economy depend on use of and access to SSNs, and the report concluded that overly restrictive attempts to limit the availability of SSNs could unintentionally curtail those functions. Finally, the report recommends steps to improve data security, increase outreach to consumers and businesses on the protection of SSNs, and enhance coordination and information-sharing among organizations that routinely use SSNs.

The Commission vote to issue the report was 4-0. The report was developed pursuant to a recommendation of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force, which was established in May 2006 to develop a coordinated plan to prevent identity theft, prosecute identity thieves, and help victims recover from the crime.

The report is based on extensive fact-finding by the FTC and other federal agencies, including public comments and a workshop the FTC conducted on December 10-11, 2007. The workshop provided a forum for public-sector, private-sector, and consumer representatives to discuss the various uses of SSNs by the private sector, the necessity of those uses, alternatives available, the challenges faced by the private sector in moving away from using SSNs, and how SSNs are obtained and used by identity thieves.

The report issued by the FTC today focuses on the use of SSNs in the private sector. The Task Force agencies have undertaken a series of measures to curtail the use of SSNs by federal agencies as well. Information on those efforts can be found in the President’s Identity Theft Task Force Report,, issued in September 2008, which summarizes the steps taken to implement the Task Force recommendations.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Identity Theft Speaker Expert comments on State of Identity Theft

As an Identity Theft Speaker and Expert on the issue of Identity Theft for over 10 years, Ive seen lots and lots of hullabaloo and misinformation over the issue. Its the end of 2008. Progress has been made to make people aware of the issue of identity theft. However, based on a loosely conducted pole,  consumers are still in the dark as to how to protect themselves. Most dont know the difference between credit monitoring, fraud alerts or credit freezes. Most people think they can protect their social security number by not giving it out. Most people think as long as they are shredding then they are safe. We still have a long way to go.

Robert Siciliano

Identity Theft Expert and MyLaptopGPS University Laptop Theft Again Places Unique Data Records in the Hands of Criminals

(BOSTON, Mass. – Dec. 17, 2008 – Earlier this month, sensitive, unique data records again fell prey to criminals, when a laptop computer belonging to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) went missing to theft. According to widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano, had the stolen computer been equipped with laptop tracking and data retrieval technology such as that provided by MyLaptopGPS, OHSU could have sidestepped the mass mailing of warning letters to the nearly one thousand patients whose information is suspected to be on the stolen machine.

"Simple measures to secure laptop computers can spare smart organizations from the headaches they otherwise must endure in the wake of laptop theft," said Siciliano. "A solution that not only tracks the stolen mobile computer, but also allows the rightful owner at once to delete and retrieve her information from the machine is ideal. Few systems combine all this capability."

CEO of and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients through presentations that explore security solutions for businesses and individuals. Author of "The Safety Minute: 01" and a longtime identity theft speaker, he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, NBC’s "Today Show," FOX News Network, and elsewhere.

On Dec. 12, OHSU announced that one of its laptop computers, left in an unattended hotel room, had gone missing to theft earlier that week. The school subsequently mailed warning letters to 890 patients whose information such as birthdates, telephones, medical diagnoses and treatment categories may have been on the stolen machine, reported The Oregonian and The Portland Tribune.

"Laptop theft is readily mitigated with the proper technology," said MyLaptopGPS’ chief technology officer, Dan Yost, who invited readers to visit the MyLaptopGPS blog and discuss the impact of the OHSU laptop theft. "And this technology need not be expensive to be effective. Besides, the alternative—lost data records of untold value and the constant specter of customer retribution, including class action lawsuits—is certainly cost-prohibitive. The clear course of action is to equip laptop computer fleets with technology designed to thwart would-be thieves."

MyLaptopGPS, a laptop security company mentioned in the August 2008 issue of Inc. Magazine, maintains the Realtime Estimated Damage Index (REDI™), a running tally of highly publicized laptop and desktop computer thefts and losses. The REDI also assesses those losses’ associated costs by drawing on estimates from the FBI and other sources that reflect the likelihood that identity theft and other crimes will occur whenever a computer is misplaced or stolen. At its website, MyLaptopGPS also keeps a log of these high-profile laptop thefts.

MyLaptopGPS’ anti-laptop theft technology combines Internet-based GPS tracking — more effective than other forms of GPS for tracking and retrieving stolen laptops — with other functionalities to secure mobile computing devices. A user launches MyLaptopGPS’ features remotely, protecting data even while the machine is in a criminal’s hands. Once connected to the Internet, the software silently retrieves, and then deletes, files from machines as it tracks the stolen or missing hardware — at once returning the data to its rightful owner and removing it from the lost computer.

Additionally, MyLaptopGPS offers SafeRegistry™, a comprehensive system for inventorying entire fleets of mobile computers, as well as a full line of highly renowned SafeTags™, which are police-traceable property tags designed to secure iPods™, cell phones, BlackBerry™ devices, and other mobile property.

Readers may download a demo of MyLaptopGPS. A white paper is also available.

"Our laptop fleet was certainly worth protecting," said Jim Sullivan, the network, systems and security administrator for FastForms, Inc. "We had procedures in place to help secure the machines, but we realized that we needed some key, additional layers of security, such as covert tracking and remote-controlled data recovery and destruction. MyLaptopGPS’ solution is very easy to use, and we are quite satisfied. We would recommend MyLaptopGPS to any business seeking a simple solution to secure their laptops and data."

The YouTube video below shows Siciliano on FOX News Network, where he discussed this year’s data security breach at Hannaford Bros. and provided consumers affected by the theft with the tips they needed to avoid paying for fraudulent charges to their bank accounts and credit accounts. To learn more about identity theft, a major concern for anyone who’s lost a laptop computer to thieves, readers may go to video of Siciliano at VideoJug.


About MyLaptopGPS

Since 1984, Tri-8, Inc. (DBA has specialized in complete system integration. From real-time electronic payment processing software to renowned mid-market ERP implementations, the executive team at MyLaptopGPS has been serving leading enterprises and implementing world-class data systems that simply work. With MyLaptopGPS™, Tri-8, Inc. brings a level of expertise, dedication, knowledge and service that is unmatched. MyLaptopGPS™’s rock-solid performance, security, and reliability flow directly from the company’s commitment to top-notch software products and services for almost 25 years.


Identity theft affects us all, and Robert Siciliano, CEO of and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, makes it his mission to educate Fortune 500 companies and their clients. A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on "The Today Show," CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, "FOX News," "The Suze Orman Show," "The Montel Williams Show," "Maury Povich," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "The Howard Stern Show," and "Inside Edition." Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others. For more information, visit Siciliano’s Web site, blog, and YouTube page.

The media are encouraged to get in touch with any of the following individuals:

John Dunivan
MyLaptopGPS Media Relations
PHONE: (405) 747-6654 (direct line)

Robert Siciliano, Personal Security Expert
CEO of
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

Brent W. Skinner
President & CEO of STETrevisions
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557