back to article Guns, drugs, stolen identities - portrait of a phisher

A California man has admitted he was part of an international phishing ring and stole tens of thousands of identities so he could support his methamphetamine habit. Tien Truong Nguyen, 30, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to five felonies, including conspiracy, access-device fraud and possession, aggravated identity …


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  1. Michael Xion

    "instant credit kiosks"

    wtf!These sound ready-made for scammers. How many years did the GE executive get for aiding fraud! face-palm-shake head

  2. Marvin the Martian

    "two cohorts"

    I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Now where's the friggin' Inigo Montoya icon?!

    /Pirates just to remind you that the dread pirate Roberts' still around. Alootin' or something.

  3. Ceadunas Tiomana

    One down...

    It's like killing one wasp out of a whole nest. The others won't even notice.

  4. Allan George Dyer

    @Marvin the Martian

    Having two-tenths of a Roman legion working for him seems excessive, but it can also mean a companion or colleague, two individuals, instead of two groups.

    Mine's the red cloak with the armour, spear and short sword...

  5. David 45

    Real punishment

    Throw away the key.

  6. Hugh_Pym


    ... is an instant credit kiosk? Do my eyes deceive me? A member of the public enters some details and gets a couple of thousand dollars to spend? Wouldn't that suggest a massive risk of fraud to most people?

  7. exit...quit...bye...quitbye.ctrl-C..ctrlX.ctrl-alt-X...aarrrr*slam*

    @Allan George Dyer

    Ut est pilum quod gladius vobis, miles militis!


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Common criminals

    Just another medium. Same old, same old. Kudos to the police for not demanding extra powers to deal with these dipshits.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Credit Kiosks?

    I hope they're not next to the suicide kiosks...

    Seriously though, Credit Kiosks? I'm speechless.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GE Credit Kiosks

    GE finance became a bank and got a bailout in the last month of Bush's presidency as part of that Paulson stimulus package.

    You can see the effect of 8 years of Bush. Cheney was spending like crazy, the Federal reserve trying to soak up the government treasuries, the money supply increasing as a result, ...gotta pump these dollars into the domestic economy or the dollar will collapse in value.... which leads to *instant credit* kiosks where just by entering a plausible name can you get $2000 free money!

    Meanwhile, a country with an asset, for example, China and it's rare earth metals, digs them up and sells them, they get paid in US$, all of which are created in Walmarts instant credit kiosks in the US then exported when the redneck buys his laptop or other item that uses the metal. An economy built on the wealth of other nations.

    The biggest threat to the US isn't terrorism, or disease or whatever, the biggest threat to the US is the Euro.

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: instant credit kiosks

    "How many years did the GE executive get for aiding fraud! face-palm-shake head"

    I'd hope none. GE's actions are not illegal, merely stupid. Such kiosks can't possibly make adequate judgements of the identity of the person getting the credit, so GE cannot prove that the person named on the documents is the person who agreed to the credit agreement. Therefore, they have no obvious way of forcing the former person (who they know) to repay the debts of the latter person (who they don't).

    I think if a court were to take that (eminently reasonable) line, you might see quite a number of financial institutions tightening up procedures. That might not be a bad thing, even now the horse has bolted.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @David 45

    Or why not just kill him and everyone he knows and let God sort 'em out?

  13. Marvin the Martian
    IT Angle

    @ A G Dyer

    Hm... Princeton Wordnet disagrees, all those cited by TheFreeDictionary disagree, but Merriam-Webster agrees with you. Yet I disagree with M-W because it is a corruption.

    "The man and his cohorts" just means there's many conspirators. In the (correctly used) M-W quotation "the man and two of his cohorts," the "of" means "from," but M-W misinterpretes that as if each of the individuals is a cohort.

    ElReg's Goodin thus shortens the correct usage "the man and two of his cohorts" using the M-W misinterpretation into the corrupt usage "the man and two cohorts".

  14. Stef 2

    The easy way

    It would have been far easier to just have become a banker.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apologies, I previously posted a Pedantic Twat comment about how the article mentiones "checks" instead of "cheques", only just realised that the article was written by Dan, so yeah, "checks". Even though I disagree with it in principle.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    methamphetamine "habit"?

    Wouldn't "addiction" be a more appropriate word? I mean from what I've heard of the drug, it's not quite in the same league as nose-picking or knuckle-cracking Just sayin' ...

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