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News & Features | Mar 29th, 2011

Actress Rose McGowan Nabs Cybercrook After ‘Violating and Frustrating’ Online Identity Theft

Elaine Rigoli

Celebrity Rose McGowan recently came out publicly as a victim of online identity theft.

McGowan’s email account was hacked, with the thief intercepting all of her messages and gaining access to all of her vital personal information.

She told the show Entertainment Tonight:

"For the last six months, somebody created an email and all of my emails -- incoming and outgoing -- have been going to this email, whoever that person is. It’s very violating and it’s frustrating.”

The actress worked with authorities to catch the man who stole her identity by sending her personal correspondence to a mystery location. Luckily, they were able to catch the man responsible for this crime.

Hacking for the Thrill of It

The sad reality is that what happened to Rose McGowan is not an isolated incident.

In fact, the FBI is conducting a wide-ranging investigation to determine who is hacking more than 100 celebrities’ email accounts and mobile devices for the "thrill" of selling the stars’ personal details, photographs, and other identifiable information.

According to TMZ.com, the FBI met with actress Vanessa Hudgens at her lawyer's office for more than an hour to get some leads into who is victimizing her and other A-list celebs like Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, Scarlett Johansson, and Miley Cyrus.

Fox Anchor ‘Locked Out’ After Email Identity Theft

If it’s happening to all those celebrities and other public figures, how can you ensure it’s not happening to you?

Just listen to the crazy tale of what happened to Fox News anchor Dave Briggs. Despite the giggles among the anchors in the video below, what happened to Briggs was incredibly serious. The news team interviews security analyst Robert Siciliano about how easy it was “for one slimy person” to accomplish hacking into his email.

Siciliano, an industry expert with The Identity Theft Resource Center®, suggested that somewhere along the line, Dave's password was compromised, his account was hacked, or he may have accessed email in a public wifi hotspot.

A still-shaken Briggs asks Siciliano what he should have done, as the hacker “changed my personal questions and changed my passwords, I was locked out. What are you supposed to? No one would help me!”

Watch the video to learn what to do if this ever happens to you:

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