Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
At a friend’s 40th birthday party, we wound up discussing my Craigslist ATM, and that led to a conversation about how easily people can be conned. One friend’s new boyfriend began telling us how frequently he is able to con people in order to get into bars and clubs. “I never wait in lines,” he claimed, “and I always get VIP treatment.” I hate lines, too, but I have a hard time lying to get what I want.
He says he finds the phone number of the bar or club and calls ahead of time, claiming to be the manager of a Boston Celtics player and explaining that he’ll be coming to the bar with a few people and that his player will arrive later. He gets the name of the club manager and someone from security. That night, he goes straight to the front of the line and drops the manager or bouncer’s name and acts as if he’s entitled to enter. He says his success rate is 100%, and I believe him.
When a couple can crash a formal event at the White House despite Secret Service presence, then almost anything is possible. People successfully pose as health inspectors, police officers, and even Secret Service agents. As I demonstrated on The Montel Williams Show, I once posed as a “water inspector,” gaining access to people’s homes by saying I needed to “check the colorization of their water.” Any kind of fake badge and uniform can do wonders.
One recent example is a Massachusetts man who has been accused of posing as a Secret Service agent in order to enter the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, trespassing, and impersonating a public official after attempting to enter a U2 concert without a ticket by impersonating a police officer:
“Authorities say he flashed what appeared to be a gold Massachusetts State Police badge and entered Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 21. They say he didn’t have a ticket to the concert.
He repeatedly asked to see the fire chief and where the ambulances were parked. When he refused to identify himself, stadium security called police, who then arrested him.”
A criminal can easily impersonate you online or in person to commit financial identity theft as it relates to new account fraud and account takeover, or to commit social media identity theft. This is why a credit freeze and an identity theft protection service are essential. Because identity theft will flourish until we are properly identified and systems are in place that point towards effective authentication and identification which leads to accountability.
- Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief. Invest is a social media identity theft protection toll such as Knowem.com.
- Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing being an imposter and home invasions on the Montel Williams Show