Supreme Allied Commander Europe Target of Identity Theft

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From Admiral James Stavridis, the Bridge: It seems that my identity, and that of my daughter, have been used in a scam – not uncommon at that.

Basically, the scam architects contact victims by email – acting as me – to secure personal trainer or in this case “Pilates yoga” services on behalf of my daughter.

Anyone who responds to this bait is asked to cash a check in return for the services. At the last minute, the check is written for more than the purchase price because of alleged oversight or mistake, and the victim is asked to wire back the difference. The checks are counterfeit, but sometimes good enough to be initially accepted by a bank. When the check eventually bounces, the victim finds him or herself still liable for the amount wired back to the scammer. …

You might think that this experience has deterred me from maintaining such an active online presence, but that isn’t the case at all. I hate the idea of someone using my name to cheat good people, but withdrawing from these forums doesn’t solve the problem.

In the end, I’m comfortable with the risk I assume in being active and outspoken, as I strongly believe that the benefit of “getting the word out” and interacting in these media far outweighs the costs.

Cyber issues are both personal and national; yet in the end, they merge into a range of vulnerability. We need to develop the rules of the road in this cyber sea in order to protect us all.

Excerpts from recent blog by Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe.  (photo: Jose Cabezas/AFP)

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