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This Little Focker Went to Jail

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By Brian McGinley of Identity Theft 911

Tim Burton, Tommy Lee Jones and even Gaylord Focker, a character from the “Fockers” movies, are the latest celebrity victims of identity theft.

A California couple allegedly created 200 blank access cards and fraudulent credit-account paperwork for them and other Hollywood stars, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Ex-convict Christopher Herrick, 43, and Traci Godlef, 42, were arrested on suspicion of identity theft and forgery at the Glendale, Calif., motel where they were living.

In their motel room, police found a credit history report with the name “Gaylord Focker” (played by actor Ben Stiller) and an address in Van Nuys. They also located computer equipment including hard drives, printers and scanners.

Sophisticated cyberthieves grab headlines because law enforcement focuses on identity theft crime rings with a high volume and global reach, said Brian McGinley, senior vice president of data risk management at Identity Theft 911.

“This story highlights how identity crimes occur at the street level,” McGinley said. “The perpetrators used cheap technology and very little information on the celebrities to create identification and financial documentation.”

A-listers take extra precautions when it comes to physical and financial security, but sometimes their efforts aren’t enough.

“This illustrates one of the ways that personal information is converted into cash by virtue of impersonation,” McGinley said.

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A version of this article originally appeared on Identity Theft 911 on April 26, 2011.


Image by Kyle Strickland, via Flickr.com

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