Microsoft Co-Founder Allen Victim of Identity Theft, Credit Fraud


A man pretending to be Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been arrested on credit card fraud, and experts say there is no reason to assume that a public figure like Allen is any less susceptible to identity theft.

The con man allegedly changed the address on one of Allen’s accounts from Seattle to Pittsburgh, then called back three days later to say he had lost his debit card and asked for a new one to be sent to him.

As this Associated Press article points out:

“Nearly everyone has personal information readily available online — more so for public figures like Allen — that can provide answers to many basic security questions like birthdate, address, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name and high school name.

Too few customers take advantage of added layers of security offered by many credit card companies, such as using unique verbal passwords or signing up for automatic alerts when account information is changed.”


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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.