Former identity thief shares secrets to stealing personal inform - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former identity thief shares secrets to stealing personal information

(KFVS) -

“I can even create an identity from nothing, from someone who doesn't even actually exist,” Richard Matney said.

Meet the man who was once the master mind of identity theft. Matney has done his time for the crime and is now sharing all his secrets.

Stealing credit card numbers, social security numbers, routing numbers, you name it, he knows how to get them…because he's done it.

Matney has turned his life around. Now, he's sharing his story from which we can all learn.

“I had the person's, where they lived, I had their address, I had their social security numbers, dates of birth, signature card, all this stuff,” Matney said.

Your personal information may not be a safe as you think.

“It was a rush. People say, ‘You can't do this.' That to me was like saying, ‘Okay, well, I can do it, I just have to find out how,'” Matney said.

Matney started with stealing credit card information in his mid to late 20s.

“We'd get people's information, we would have credit cards mailed to us, or we will apply under their name or we'd have duplicate cards send to us,” Matney said.

He said it took him a while to master the craft, but monitoring people's online banking was one of the first steps.

“I would actually follow people. I would get their daily habits, I would see what they would do. I could get into their accounts and look at their account and watch their activity on their account,” Matney said.

He wasn't only attacking from behind a screen.

“The majority of the information I got, dumpster diving. I would get people's information from banks, like addresses and stuff, then I would go through to their house and go through their garbage,” Matney said.

There he would find the tickets to the crime and it didn't matter if it was shredded or not.

“I had that whole thing spread out and in about six hours I papers pieced together, whole sheets of paper that had signatures, I had their credit cards pieced together, security code on the back, had signatures, addresses, social security numbers, everything,” Matney said.

He said it's hard to know how much he stole, because he spent the money immediately.

“The whole driving force behind it was getting high,” Matney said.

Matney served about a year and a half behind bars. It was a sentence he says he more than deserved.

“Honestly, that is nothing for what I have done,” Matney said.

Since then, he's moved from California to the Heartland, works a steady job and is openly recovering from his past.

“Part of my recovery from drugs and alcohol and that life I led for 18 years was being honest. You know if people can accept that, it's fine, if they can't that's fine too,” Matney said.

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