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FBI widens probe of debit-card theft

The FBI has expanded its investigation into a debit card fraud that has mostly affected 200,000 consumers in the Western United States, saying that the case might be linked to other debit card thefts around the country.

Starting late last year, banks and credit unions, mostly in California, began issuing new debit cards after some account holders discovered fraudulent withdrawals at overseas ATMs. Banking officials said they traced the problem to a security breach involving at least one major retailer.

Carelessness causes identity theft concern

More than two weeks ago, University of Northern Iowa officials discovered that a laptop containing the W-2 forms of some 6,000 employees had been hacked by a remote virus. UNI sat on this information for a few days before releasing it to those affected. Now the university has gone to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier to make its case and defend its choice to wait so long.

UNI has stated that the virus does not appear to be a data-miner, and so it is unlikely that the hacker was able to get any sort of information. They say it is unlikely that the hacker had any idea about the actual data on the computer.

This is just another example of a security breach in a desktop computer or removable storage device. Personal information will never be secure until its storage is limited to secure servers.

Major Player in Identity Theft Scheme Arrested

Six months of living the high life for two Monterey County men came to an abrupt halt this month after their arrest on federal charges of identity theft and mail fraud. Raymond Garbin, 29, of Marina, and former Monterey resident James Fitzgerald, 28, led a chaotic but extravagant existence, driving luxury cars and staying in a suite at Seascape Resort in Aptos, authorities said, while they forged and counterfeited driver licenses and checks between June and January.

A federal indictment filed on Feb. 1 charges them with conspiracy related to possession of stolen mail and fraud, alleging they used stolen identities to obtain credit cards, cash and property.

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