This case involves a company that suffered an internal data breach. As a result, over 200 of the company’s employees had their personal information, including social security numbers, and addresses, compromised. The employer offered to cover the expenses of identity protection for a set period of time, but the employees pushed back on this cap claiming that criminals often wait to use such information. An expert in identity theft was sought to discuss the cost of keeping employee identities safe in the long-term as well sas the tendencies of identity thieves.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How do criminals tend to use stolen personal information?
- 2. Are you able to evaluate the cost of protecting someone's identity over the long-term?
Expert Witness Response E-061146
I previously ran the Identity Fraud Task Force at the FBI and spent 18+ years focused on white-collar crime. Now I consult for many big law firms and some mortgage businesses. Over the course of my career, I have seen thieves get much more sophisticated regarding their timing when using stolen information. They will often go dormant and take years to mine or utilize information. That info gets sold over and over again. As for long-term costs, victims like these will need to monitor their credit for the rest of their lives, using a service like LifeLock and subscribing to various credit bureaus. In addition to those costs, there is also a lot of stress and anxiety involved, as well as the sheer time required to address the theft. I actively consult now with a mortgage company where I see persistent and prevalent problems with identity theft.