Rash of identity thefts hits Valley

David Bolling reports:

A wave of identity theft has struck Sonoma with numerous local citizens falling victim to fraudulent bank charges. In the past week alone, at least nine Sonoma residents reported fraudulent charges billed to their bank accounts through bank card transactions they did not make.

The charges were global in scope, occurring in places as far a field as Singapore, the Philippines, Washington, D.C., New York City, Nashville, Tenn., and Milwaukee, Wisc. Illegal transactions have ranged from $10 at a fast-food restaurant to a variety of charges totaling more than $3,200 on one card. ID thieves bought airline tickets, gasoline, clothes and $624 worth of shoes.

Many, if not most, of the fraud cases may be traced to one Internet hacker who penetrated the transaction records of a card processing company employed by a Sonoma business. Police did not identify the company in question. The security breach has since been plugged but apparently the damage had already been done. Not all the cases are necessarily related to that one breach, said Sonoma Police Sgt. Darin Dougherty. “Other locations could have been compromised,” Dougherty said, “It’s been going on for almost a month.”

Read more on Sonoma News.

Card processing company? Is this still the Heartland breach or something else? Given that there are new reports of fraud linked to the Heartland breach coming out of Colorado this month, it’s possible, I suppose. It would be nice if we were actually given pesky little details like the names of breached entities or their payment processors.

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