The Walking Dead

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There are some people in this world who are a bit disingenuous. You know the type? they say one thing and do another. And, of course, there are fraudsters – people who lie to steal (usually) money that belongs to someone else. But the story reported in today’s fraud from CBS New York alleges that one man raised these concepts to a new level by holding a position of trust as an airport security guard while using the alias of a man killed nearly 20 years ago.

The article reports that the defendant, an undocumented immigrant, allegedly ”assumed the identity of a dead man to get a top security job” at Newark Liberty Airport. (Are you kidding?? A native of Nigeria, the man held a position monitoring some of the most secure areas of the Newark airport, one of the nation’s busiest airports. Monitoring a staff of around 30 individuals, and guarding some of the most secured areas in the building, authorities were concerned when they realized they had been fooled. A statement made by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the issue said? ”In this case, the defendant utilized an elaborate and complex scheme of identity theft to defraud his employer, the State of New Jersey, the federal government and the Port Authority.’? Authorities revealed after the defendant’s arrest, that he allegedly had been living under four different aliases in the U.S. since 1989. While the investigation continues, authorities are trying to pinpoint exactly how this alleged fraudster obtained the deceased individual’s birth certificate and Social Security number, even taking precautions to run a finger print test just to rule out the idea of the defendant being a part of the deceased man’ murder. (It looks like his future as a security guard is about as dead as his alias. And after 20 years of service, he will demand full retirement benefits and probably get them too.)

Questions have been raised about the intentions of the individual – asking whether he participated in criminal activity at the airport. Authorities say the main concern lies within the ID scam itself. With the ability to go undetected for 20 years, it is troubling to wonder whether terrorists could produce similar aliases and hold similar positions that would compromise U.S. safety.

The defendant revealed the ease with which an individual can fool security on the ”inside.’? Identity fraud is on the rise, and in a delicate environment such as an airport, we cannot afford the inability to identify individuals operating under a false identity. So, the question of the day is? what precautions does your agency take to prevent identity fraud?

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Illegal Immigrant Allegedly Assumes Identity of a Dead Man To Get To Top Security Post At Newark Liberty”, published by CBS New York, May 14, 2012.

A security breach of the highest order was uncovered at Newark Liberty Airport on Monday.

An illegal immigrant allegedly assumed the identity of a dead man to get a top security job at the airport, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.