A name, an address, a telephone number and a date of birth: this is all that fraudsters need to steal your confidential data, steal your identity, afford a multitude of “little pleasures” without your knowledge and become your worst nightmare.
Getting a credit card in your name, withdrawing or transferring money, getting a mortgage at the bank, buying plane or car tickets, paying bills … these are just a few examples of scammers can do things by getting their hands on basic information about you.
These can “easily” win sums of $ 10 to $ 5 million, testifies a scammer with a muddled face in the documentary “Identity thieves”, which broadcasts Tele-Quebec Wednesday October 14.
And, as some of the “professionals” in this type of illegal trade explain on the show, this “job” requires passion, determination and “full-time” work.
Law of silence
What can be done to guard against this kind of attack? Not much, concludes the journalist Marc-André Sabourin, responsible for the investigation with his colleague Naadei Lyonnais, and who devoted a year and a half of research to manage to give a voice to those who bring life to life. anguish to the population. And this, even if the financial institutions hammer us to “protect ourselves”. Because changing our password is rarely enough.
“It’s a little worrying, eh ?, launches Marc-André Sabourin in an interview with theQMI Agency. Identity theft has always been a bit of a mystery. The story (of data theft at) Desjardins last year put this subject in the spotlight. But, again, it was always the victims and the experts that we heard. Myself, I had my identity stolen in February 2019, and after the shock and stress, I wondered who in life was doing that stealing identities. So I set out on a mission to find fraudsters and ex-fraudsters, who could explain to us how it works. It was super difficult … “
A powerful “law of silence” apparently predominates in this “industry”, which complicated the job of Sabourin, who had to leave Montreal to further his investigation, obviously complicated by the pandemic.
“One person agreed to talk to me because they felt extremely guilty. She was somewhat realizing the consequences of her actions. All the fraudsters in the field of identity theft believe that the banks are the victims. From a financial point of view, this is often true, because the banks will reimburse people; but the person who has their identity stolen also carries a heavy burden. She has to clean up her credit report, make sure she will never be held responsible … Often, scammers don’t see this part. Then there is all the price we pay as a society, ”depicts Marc-André Sabourin.
“Anyone Can Do This”
The latter admits it: data theft files are much more complex than he initially thought, and access to information, easier. Among other sources to watch out for, Facebook and other such virtual platforms are often a wealth of information, and even schools and the Yellow Pages can betray us. And forget the cliché of the taciturn-looking hacker holed up in his dark basement when it comes time to point out culprits; ; “Anyone can do that,” swears the reporter.
“They are very creative in observing how the system works and using it to their advantage. Identity theft has been around for a long, long time, but today digital tools are making it easier. ”
“There will always be a leak, a loophole”, advance in “Identity thieves” rapper Moto, who has been practicing the art of fraud since the age of 12 or 13, adding that “nobody is safe ”.
And the sad observation posed by the study: although more denounced, this type of crime still too often goes unpunished.
“Identity thieves”, Wednesday, October 14, at 8 p.m., at Tele-Quebec, with several reruns in the following days.