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Jeepers! Watch for "Creepers"

Financial institutions have joined the nation's corporations in worrying about a new kind of thief: neatly dressed individuals who walk into an office, chit chat with employees and walk out with office lap tops. The new criminals have been nicknamed "creepers."

Creepers are well aware of what models and types will bring in the most money on the street, and they pick and choose those that bring in prices of between $500 and $1,800 each. Their method of operation is to make employees comfortable with their presence by dressing well and engaging in pleasantries with anyone they happen to run into while leisurely strolling through a building. What they're actually there for is to snatch any lap tops left on desks. The cost to corporations is often far beyond the purchase price of the computer because sensitive or critical data can be lost forever.

No figures are available for how prevalent the crime is, but a survey by the Computer Security Institute recently revealed that the crime has risen to 63 percent of respondents in 2002 from 55 percent in 2001.

Copyright © 2004 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 13, No. 11, 1/04

First published on 01/01/2004

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