All About Scams and ID Theft

Two different events conspired to make today suck: an email purporting to be from the FBI and US Mail from a former employer telling me that my identity may have been stolen.

The FBI mail is the typical Internet scam, but this time with more legit looking information and 50% less bad grammar.  It tells me that:

your e-mail address was among the e-mails that won this year promo award of UK National Lottery, that is the fund that was transferred to Africa , and it has been recovered.

Of course, I completely forgot about that lotto ticket I picked up when I was in London five years ago.  How silly of me, and how wonderful that the FBI took the time to track it down for me.  I’m sure someone will fall for this but it’s just another hoax in my inbox.

This second one is more serious.  It seems that a former employer who will remain nameless contracted with an accounting firm which had my personal identification (and that of others) on a laptop.  That laptop was stolen and the firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, says it had all kinds of security to keep my information safe, and that I shouldn’t worry.  Sounds fine until you read the next paragraph:

… as the laptop was in use at the time of the theft, we cannot be certain that these security measures were enabled.

So now I’m told that someone can go out and masquerade as me, creating new bank accounts, credit cards and personal loans and that all PWC can say is sorry, we’re not liable?  I realize that the 21st century was going to be new and exciting but I didn’t realize that personal or corporate responsibility wasn’t one of the 20th century carry-overs. Shameful, I say.

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