It wasn’t just Sandra Bullock whose identity got stolen in the 1995 Hollywood flick ‘The Net’. While that was just a fictional depiction of the implications of identity theft, it’s real life counterpart is as horrific and disastrous. Although most cases of identity theft are aimed towards low profile targets that won’t raise much hue and cry, celebs getting their identity stolen is also a prevalent phenomenon. So if you thought that only the common man is duped by sneaky conspirators on internet, below examples will certainly make you feel otherwise.
- Bill Gates
What better target for theft if not the world’s richest man. Yes, the guy who gave you Microsoft also had his identity stolen in 2004. The incident was reported in Bulgaria, where a student named Alexey K. (Changed name) presented a credit card on Bill Gates’ name. The issue was reported as an international incident by the country’s Interior Chief Secretary. Not just because it involved Microsoft’s chairman, but because Alexey K. was revealed to be a part of bigger crime ring, involved with identity fraud and counterfeiting currency in more than 25 countries. Pun intended, you should work on your security essentials Bill!
- Mark Zuckerberg
If they could hack into his account, we’re basically fodder for these hackers. We’re talking about the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg who recently got his own Linked in account hacked followed by simultaneous hacking of his Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram profiles. The incident was then tweeted by the group who took responsibility for this action via their profile @OurMine. The hacker later revealed Mark’s password to be ‘dadada’, which to be honest is an extremely bad choice. This is exactly why keeping obvious gibberish as your password is never recommended for social media moguls!
- Jennifer Lawrence
We know what some of you prevs might be thinking, but getting your candid photos and videos leaked on the internet isn’t really a ball. The X-Men star Jennifer Lawrence also became a subject of controversy when some of her unclad photographs were allegedly leaked from her iCloud account. Moreover, the hacker who took responsibility for this actions also released public threats of releasing a video clip of the actress in her private moments. The issue was handed over to the FBI who are currently investigating this matter. Nevertheless, the idea of impersonating a shape-shifting mutant isn’t just mere coincidence. We’d say it’s more of a ‘Vengeful Homage’ to her work.
- Kim Kardashian
At this point, why not! After being in the news for countless other reasons Mrs. Kanye West AKA Kim Kardashian or Miss Selfie (actually, we came up with that one!) got her identity stolen in early 2014. We’re not deliberately trying to make it sound like a good news but since it was done by a 19-year-old, we don’t know what to say. The fraud was committed by Luis Flores, who transferred an estimated sum of USD 72000 to his personal bank account using Kim Kardashian’s details. The boy was finally arrested from his apartment in Lake Mary, Florida. Flores was also holding stolen details that belonged to various other celebrities, politicians and even the head of the FBI. Wow, the boy really has taste when it comes to targets!
- Oprah Winfrey
When a super powered billionaire philanthropist such as Tony Stark couldn’t defend his identity against Ultron, there’s no way regular billionaire philanthropist could handle such attacks. Although it’s highly unlikely that such thing as a ‘regular billionaire’ exists. Nevertheless, they’re all vulnerable targets for hackers. The criminal in question was allegedly a busboy from Brooklyn named Abraham Abdallah, who stole more than USD 80 Million from various celebrities. He used Oprah’s stolen information to authorize various purchases through her bank account and was finally arrested in 2001.
- Will Smith
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air AKA Will Smith is an extremely well known celebrity actor with memorable roles in movies. It’s a different thing if you want to hire him to play someone and another if you want to impersonate him. If you thought hackers only stole information from ‘not so obvious’ targets, you’re certainly mistaken. In December 2005, a 45-year old from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania named Carlos Lomax was arrested for allegedly using Will Smith’s personal information to forge several credit cards. More than 14 credit cards were found under the name Willard C. Smith with more than USD 34000 worth of transactions. For an actor who played the role of boxer Mohammad Ali, this must’ve stung like a bee!
- Sunder Pichai
This one sounds totally like a movie trailer. From the people who hacked into Mark Zuckerberg’s LinkedIn account and proving the world what a crappy password he chose, comes another blockbuster hack. Yes, this time the target was Google’s newly christened CEO Sundar Pichai, whose Quora account was hacked by OurMine hackers. The group then posted replies to Pichai’s account on Quora and explained it to be a security test.
The above list is indicative of the fact that weather you’re Mother Teresa or Donald Trump, hackers simply don’t care as long as they’re making money. Therefore, it is imperative that you must take proper security measures to keep your identity protected at all costs. You can also consider Advanced Identity Protector Tool to keep all traces of your identity protected in a secure location. The software automatically scans for any sensitive data on your computer such as credit card details, email address, login information, passwords, social security numbers, ids etc. The tool then helps you to backup all this information at a secure location and delete all such traces from your system.
Fortunately, or unfortunately cybercrime attacks don’t discriminate much between the rich and the poor. While this might make these criminals seem a little more benevolent than they appear, it’s still no excuse for the heinous crimes they’ve committed.