Identity theft has been described as the biggest crime spree in the history of America, and by some estimates claims one new victim every two seconds.
And while there are plenty of experts willing to offer advice on how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim, no-one has really been talking to the best experts of them all – the identity thieves themselves.
At least not until now. Security expert Neal O'Farrell, who's been fighting cybercrime and identity theft around the world for more than 30 years, persuaded some of the most dangerous identity thieves and cybercrooks to sit down and speak openly about their crimes, how they pull them off, and why it's only going to get worse.
In The Company Of Thieves documents these conversations and interviews. The goal of the documentary series is to use the words of the crooks to help educate consumers, businesses, and law enforcement using tools they've never had access to before – the minds of thieves.
THE RAINY DAY BANDIT AND THE "MA BAKER" OF IDENTITY THEFT
The first documentary in the series focuses on Ray and Angela. Ray is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence in California and described by law enforcement as the most dangerous identity thief in America. So dangerous, he wasn't arrested once in twenty years. Until his luck ran out and he ran across a wine cop on his last day on patrol.
"Angela" has been involved in fraud and identity theft for more than 30 years, since she was 13 years old, and was never arrested once. She was so good at helping others commit crimes, from violent motorcycle gangs to Mexican cartels, that when she tried to leave her life of crime a contract was placed on her head and she had to enter the witness protection program.
In the Company of Thieves also includes interviews with the cops who chase these thieves, the prosecutors who try to keep them off the streets, and the victims they leave behind.
CREDITS AND THANKS
In The Company Of Thieves was funded by a generous donation from Experian's ProtectMyID®.
It would also not have been possible without the incredible cooperation of many people and organizations, and not just the thieves who took great personal risks by sharing their secrets.
We're very grateful to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office who went to great lengths to give us access to Ray over many months.
We're also grateful to the very creative team at Vibrant Films in San Francisco, including Matt Barkin, Adam Ducharme, and Chelsea Tommolo, who spent months chasing the story and turning our interviews and characters into a compelling documentary.
ABOUT THE IDENTITY THEFT COUNCIL
The Identity Theft Council is an award-winning non-profit founded in 2009 to find more effective ways to combat identity theft, support victims, educate the community, and assist law enforcement. Partners in the council include the National Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC), in Washington DC, Elder Financial Protection Network, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the Identity Theft Resource Center and many others.
In 2011 we were honored to win the SC Magazine Editor's Choice Award, presented at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. We were the first non-profit to win the award and previous winners include the NSA. The Council depends on donations and sponsors to keep our work going. Please consider helping in any way you can.