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The Truth About Identity Theft Paperback – September 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0789737939 ISBN-10: 0789737930 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789737930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789737939
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Stickley is CTO and Vice President of Strategic Operations at TraceSecurity Inc. He was one of the original founders of TraceSecurity and is a renowned security expert. He has been involved in thousands of security services for financial institutions, Fortune 100 corporations, health care facilities, legal firms, insurance companies, and government agencies. He has been a security consultant for numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been featured in Time Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, New York Times, and many other industry-specific publications such as PC Magazine and Security Focus. He also has been showcased on NBC’s Nightly News, CNN’s NewsNight, several CNBC programs including The Big Idea and Business Nation and numerous times on NBC’s Today Show. He has physically breached the security of more than 1,000 facilities nationwide and had access to billions of dollars through stolen identities. When not on assignment, Jim continues to serve as a speaker and has delivered hundreds of speeches at security-related trade shows, conventions, seminars, and forums throughout the U.S. and other countries, covering topics ranging from identity theft to national cyberterrorism. Be sure to visit for security tips and the latest alerts.


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



I have stolen credit cards, hacked social security numbers, robbed banks, and created fake ATMs. I have broken into armed government facilities and have stolen from teenagers. I am an identity thief, but I am no criminal.

In the end, I have found there is little separation between attacking a corporation in New York City and targeting a housewife in Dover, Ohio.

Fortunately for all victims involved, I was hired to perform these attacks by corporations testing their security, news agencies investigating security concerns, and other media outlets interested in knowing just how easy it is to commit identity theft. My job is to find security flaws before the real criminals find them.

This book has been designed to give you the insight that most people experience only after becoming victims of identity theft. Each Truth walks you through a different type of attack, explaining the complete process in a simple and straightforward way.

Like a magician actually revealing what happens behind the curtain, I take you through the attacks to reveal how people at home, work, and on the road become victims. I identify tips on how to protect yourself, your office, and your children from becoming the next identity theft statistics.

Identity thieves can, and often do, use all the attacks against any type of target, regardless of whether they are after you in your home in the Midwest or if they are targeting you in your New York City office. While learning to think like an identity thief, you will begin to look at situations in an entirely new way. You might think twice about that preapproved credit card application that arrived in the mail, and you might keep a closer eye on that pest inspector who has spent just a little too much time walking around your office. Ultimately, this book opens your eyes to a world most people never knew existed.

There is no doubt that I have had to walk a fine line when performing the attacks that I outline in this book. On one hand, I am hired by organizations to conduct these tests; on the other hand, I am stealing the confidential information of millions of unsuspecting individuals. In the end, the information I steal ends up being far more secure than before I touched it, and the lessons learned have benefited hundreds of thousands of others in their efforts to avoid being the next identity theft victims. Of course, there have been engagements that were flat-out illegal. In those cases, the proper authorities were notified ahead of time, and although the attacks were real and unrehearsed, I had my "get out of jail free" paperwork.

In this day and age, what you don't know is exactly what can hurt you. Identity thieves are out there, and their success often comes from innocent mistakes made by others.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Easy read with good information.
Sharon Kay Brown
One thing that struck me as I read this book is that laziness and inattention are at the heart of a lot of what happens to us as victims of identity theft.
Alexandra Bailee
Read this book and you won't lose it again!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Bailee on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Okay, I know you didn't ask, nevertheless I'm going to help you out. Do you want to give your friends, employees, family or yourself an excellent, useful gift? Get a copy of Jim Stickley's book The Truth About Identity Theft "Why be me when I can be you?"

I didn't expect much when I opened this book. It's an unimpressive, slim book with a stark, two-color cover. I was prepared to slug my way through the usual dry preachiness of this type of book. I'm happy to report that Identity Theft is far and away one of the best written, most interesting, informative, useful books I've read in a long time.

Identity Theft reminded of important issues of security that I had let slide and educated me on possibilities that I hadn't even considered.

This book is part of a series, "The Truth About," published by FT Press. Stickley's company, Trace Security, investigates a wide range of security issues. Stickley has been a guest on some of the morning television shows. The book is divided into parts associated with various issues or "The Truth About": Phishing and Vishing, Trash, No-Tech Identity Theft, Just How Low Identity Thieves Will Go, Theft in Plain Sight, Online Cons, Security at Work, stories from identity theft victims, and information on how to stop identity theft.

The information in this book is an eye-opener, but what impressed me was the clean, concise writing style. The book moves right along with facts, anecdotes and suggestions. The reader is left with the feeling that the author respects his audience enough that he doesn't have to shout, oversell, overstate or berate the reader. This book will scare the heck out of you, but you'll still enjoy it and be very glad you read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Boraborajen on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow what an eye-opening book! I bought this book after seeing Mr. Stickley on the Today Show (more than once.) I was always impressed with the information he was giving the public and thought I'd give his book a try. I'm so glad I did. He explains in quick easy chapters what identity thieves do and how they do it. He then goes on to tell you, the reader, how to protect not only yourself, but your family and even your children from these kinds of scams.

If you have ever been the victim of identity theft, or if you're concerned about the growing number of people who are hit by these thieves each year and don't want to be one of them, read this book and protect yourself!
You'll be amazed at how easy it is to lose control of your information. Read this book and you won't lose it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Renee on November 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mr. Stickley presents the typically dull topic of identity-theft in a way that will have you laughing out loud and wondering, "Now why didn't I think of that?!" With the wisdom of Confucius and a wit similar to Dave Barry's, Jim's book will be enjoyed by all.

If you own a computer, you MUST read this book;
If you surf the Internet, you MUST read this book;
If you use a credit card, you MUST read this book;
If you use ATMs, you MUST read this book;
If you've ever thrown junkmail in the trash, you MUST read this book!

Just read this book!
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Is the adoption curve for information security really so incredibly flat; are we all just a nation (or globe) of laggards? After reading this book published in 2008, I can't help but respond with a resounding "yes."

Certainly there are those companies and individuals out there who have a sense for information security and have adopted measures to protect themselves - some even unwittingly if you think about the security features designers of computer software and hardware are just putting into place as the technology advances, but how many people could even give explanation or reason of the new feature they suddenly see installed onto their work computer or the new personal computer they have just purchased? I am willing to bet very few. Now some might say that in some instances, it's not necessary for, say, the corporate employee to understand the new install they see; perhaps, but the vast majority of identity thefts, either behind a corporate veil of IT experts, or an individual keeping their new laptop's security software up-to-date, can have really little to do with attacks on potential software or hardware vulnerabilities at all. Most thefts do not even require a computer to execute them it would seem.

The reason, as Stickley points to time and time again, and each a unique vector of attack, is the false confidence in security that the individual(s) in the work environment or the home environment has and automatically assume(s) is shielding them (for a variety of reasons) from the potential onslaught of identity theft. One great example of hubris in the workplace is detailed in his chapter, "Walk Right In and Steal Whatever You Would Like.
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Format: Paperback
Easy read with good information. I'm a computer security consultant so most of the book was refresher training. Chapters 1-38 provide different scenarios for how your identity can be stolen and specific recommendations for protecting yourself. You can also skip to the chase in Chapters 39-46 for solid information on how to protect your computer, your credit, and what to do if you've already got a problem. Definitely a book I would want to have if I had to give a briefing on the topic. Chapters are short and powerful with good recommendations.
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