The story of one victim, whose identity became a valuable commodity for one savvy thief.
By Sara Sorcher
Criminals barter for your Social Security Number and the most intimate details of your personal life.
By Jaikumar Vijayan
They are profiting from the crime. But is it really worth it for consumers?
By Ericka Chickowski
Passcode produced this package of stories as the exclusive media partner for the ID360 conference on the identity economy, hosted by the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Identity. All illustrations on this page by Kevin Munoz; videos by Michael Brennan.
Passcode's video interviews with the keynote speaker, Frank Abagnale, the former con man who inspired the movie "Catch Me If You Can," and other identity protection experts are below.
Passcode conducted some interviews on the sidelines of the ID360 conference about the inherent risks of posting and storing swaths of personal information online and ways consumers can protect themselves from identity theft.
Frank Abagnale, inspiration for the movie "Catch Me If You Can"
Abagnale is a former con man who had an array of false identities and cashed more than $2.5 million in fake checks before he was caught in the late 1960s.
Now reformed, he's built a business consulting businesses and government agencies on ways to combat fraud. With the barrage of online data breaches in recent years that have compromised hundreds of millions of personal records, Mr. Abagnale has no shortage of work.
"People ask me sometimes how easy it is to steal someone's identity. It'd be like asking me to count to three," Abagnale says.
"If I can become you, what I can do as you, is only limited to my imagination."
Adam Tyler, chief innovation officer with security company CSID
On digital wallets, devices that can be used to make payments:
"The sky isn't falling, we just need to ensure that as we're moving to these new methods of payment, that we're sure we understand the risks and consequences," Mr. Tyler says.
Eduard Goodman, chief privacy officer for IDT911
On inherent risks of oversharing on social media:
"You post that picture of your nice new Rolex watch, and it posts the latitude and longitude of where it was taken in your bedroom."
Write that you're going on vacation, thieves could know when you're gone.
Kim Little Sutherland, senior director of Identity Management Strategy at LexisNexis
"It's really challenging to figure out who you should trust and how much you should share... as a consumer trying to figure out how to interact with a government agency and business," Ms. Sutherland says.