Imagine this scenario. You are a financially stable business person with a couple of homes. One day you are included is a list of "wealthiest whatevers". A Russian twenty-something sees your name and decides to move beyond the small time business of phishing and go after some big bucks. He notices that your property deeds in Texas are searchable online and he hires a local PI to gather more info on you. In the meantime he contacts the bank at which you have an open home equity line of credit and asks them to send an extra checkbook to an address in Texas that belongs to an accomplice he hired there. The checks are used to buy quantities of gold that are then shipped to St. Petersburg. You are out your money, he is rich.
Far fetched? Evidently not. The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that one Igor Klopov, 24 years old, was just arrested under the Brooklyn Bridge when he flew to New York to attempt to collect $7 million in gold he thought was waiting for him, the result of just such a scheme. Arrests have also been made in Michigan, Florida, Texas, and Kentucky.
This incident is important for two reasons. It highlights just how direct and malicious a targeted attack can be. It can involve physical attacks like surveillance.
Kudos to the Secret Service and the local law enforcement agencies they worked with. This is one of the most sophisticated investigations, and captures, ever. It gives me hope that law enforcement is gaining the experience they need to counter modern crimes.
Just one question: The arrest was made under the Brooklyn Bridge? What's up with that? This could be a great story. Maybe even a screenplay?