According to a batch of papers filed this week in US District Court in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh resident Brandon Price stands accused of impersonating Allen, and convincing Citibank customer service to send him a replacement credit card, which Price then attempted to use to rack up $15,000 in purchases.
"An individual identifying himself as Paul Allen called the customer service department of Citibank," according to a complaint filed by the FBI. (Hat tip to the Register.) "The caller stated that he had misplaced his debit card at his residence, but did not want to report it stolen. The individual then successfully ordered a new debit card on the account of Paul Allen and had it sent via UPS."
Monitor readers will remember that in a Data Breach Investigations report released this week, a team of analysts at Verizon noted an uptick in cybercrime and stolen online identities. As David Postman, a spokesman for Allen, told BusinessWeek today that the Allen incident is "a reminder that anyone can be a victim of this. It certainly is a surprise and reason for everyone to make sure that all that stuff is properly cared for and monitored," Postman added.
If convicted, Price faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.