Leave a comment

The $2 million mistake you can make on social media

The $2 million mistake you can make on social media
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Do you remember the day you got your first paycheck? It bet it was an exciting day for you, but I'm sure you didn't post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MyFirstPaycheck.

Maybe #MyFirstPaycheck should be accompanied with #PleaseTakeMyFirstPaycheck or #StealMyIdentity.

All it took was a quick search under #MyFirstPaycheck and a group of 28 different people spread across Minnesota, Oregon, Florida and North Dakota were able to steal $2 million from unsuspecting Instagrammers.

No special hacker training required, just a simple hashtag search.

With the information gathered, the culprits were able to open fake bank accounts and cash counterfeit checks, raking in more than $2 million from check-cashing organizations, 49 different banks and credit unions, mainly in Minnesota and five other states.  The operation has been going on since 2007.

The suspects have been charged with several counts of bank fraud, conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

“This case is representative of a recurring trend — the migration of traditional street criminals to white collar fraud,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said.

Here's what's shocking: I did a quick search on Instagram and found 289 posts still on the site under #MyFirstPaycheck.

Many of these photos seem harmless enough - selfies with cash, full shopping bags, new iPhones - but some contain checks with full names and addresses exposed.

If you have teens, I recommend sitting them down and explaining the consequences of posting too much information online.

Next Story
Source: CNN Money
The FCC wants to help you save big bucks on cable
Previous Happening Now

The FCC wants to help you save big bucks on cable

Using wearable gadgets could get you arrested at one place you go all the time
Next Happening Now

Using wearable gadgets could get you arrested at one place you go all the time

View Comments ()