Every year during tax season, many individuals discover that they are victims of identity theft. Identity theft affects the processing of a tax return in many ways. For example, victims may be notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that a tax return has already been filed in their name for the given tax year. In some cases, the individual is notified by the IRS that he or she has failed to report earnings from an employer for the tax year in question.
A 10-count indictment was unsealed, charging six people with various offenses related to a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of at least $1.7 million in fraudulently obtained tax returns, often filed in the names of recently deceased taxpayers.
Highlights from a recent FBI identity theft case. This article outlines the charges being brought against two individuals for an identity theft scheme allegedly affecting nearly 90 individuals.
It all started with an apartment search. Stephanie became the vicitim of identity theft after providing her SSN to what appeared to be a legitimate property management company.
Colin was recently alerted to attempts to open credit cards in three states, not including his home state. Years ago, Colin lost his Social Security card. Every so often, Colin’s SSN is re-sold and a new bunch of fraud attempts occurs.
There is so much you can do on a mobile phone these days! Many tasks you would do on a computer can now be done while on the go with a Smartphone. The dark side of this convenience is the risk users may have when the security of the mobile applications are taken for granted.
Ever thought of how well you know the functions of your phone? Ever thought of how much your phone knows about you? Your Smartphone’s knowledge, if not protected, is a potential risk to your security and privacy. The ultimate question to ask: Is my privacy and security at risk?
Unfortunately, the IRS is able to criminally investigate only a small percentage of tax-related identity theft cases due to its limited resources. In 2010, its Criminal Investigations Division investigated only 4,700 cases of all kinds, not just identity thefts.
If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he might revise his often-repeated quote to reflect a current threat: “...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and identity theft.”
By Chuck Whitlock, Identity Theft Author and Investigative Reporter
An old adage warns, “Trust no one.” Sadly, when it comes to protecting your identity, these words should become your mantra. While faceless scammers on the Internet or other strangers are often the main suspects in identity thefts, the biggest threat to your identity may be posed by someone who is close to you, even someone you love.