Tag Archives: identity theft

Tax Return Identity Theft Legislation Introduced on Tax Day April 17

On the day taxes are due for Americans, April 17, 2012, House Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation – The Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting Identity Theft Act (H.R. 4362) – to help stop the growing problem of tax return identity theft and protect tax payers from identity thieves who file tax returns using names of other people to receive their tax refund checks. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), more than 850,000 tax returns and $5.8 billion were associated with tax return identify theft in 2011 alone. Continue reading

Dangers of Background Check Firms Offshoring Personal Data of Americans Outside of US Revealed in Whitepaper

To alert U.S.-based employers and job seekers about the potential dangers caused by background check firms “offshoring” Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to countries such as India and the Philippines, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is offering a new whitepaper on the subject. The whitepaper written by ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen is titled ‘The Dangers of Offshoring Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Outside of United States’ and details the hazards of sending PII to counties that are well beyond the reach of U.S. privacy and identity theft laws. The complimentary whitepaper is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/Download/. Continue reading

Identity Theft Tops Federal Trade Commission List of Complaints for 2011

For the 12th year in a row, identity theft topped the list of consumer complaints released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for 2011. Of more than 1.8 million complaints filed in 2011, 279,156 – or 15 percent – were identity theft complaints, and nearly 25 percent of those identity theft complaints were related tax- or wage-related fraud. For more information about the FTC’s Top Complaint Categories for 2011, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/02/2011complaints.shtm. Continue reading

Identity Theft Rose 13 Percent in 2011 with Help from Social Media and Smart Phones

Fueled in part by the rise in the use of smart phones and social media by consumers, as well as a large number of data breaches, identity theft incidents in the United States rose by 13 percent in 2011 to affect nearly 12 million Americans, according to the ‘2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming the New Fraud Frontier’ survey released by Javelin Strategy & Research. To download the identity theft survey from Javelin, visit https://www.javelinstrategy.com/brochure/239. Continue reading

Identity Theft Crackdown by IRS and Justice Department Targets 105 People in 23 States

As part of a stepped-up effort against tax refund fraud and identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Justice Department have announced that a massive nationwide sweep last week targeting 105 people in 23 states to crack down on suspected identity theft perpetrators resulted in 939 criminal charges related to identity theft, according to a news release on the IRS website available at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=253147,00.html?portlet=108. Continue reading

Offshoring Personally Identifiable Information Outside of US Increases Concern Over Privacy and Identity Theft

A new California law due to take effect January 1, 2012 – Senate Bill 909 (SB 909) – appears to be one of the first in the nation that addresses the growing concerns over the controversial practice of “offshoring” personally identifiable information (PII) collected during background checks of job applicants by sending the data outside of United States and its territories and beyond the protection of U.S. privacy and identity theft laws. This is Trend Number 9 of the fifth annual Employment Screening Resources (ESR) ‘Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Keeping IDs Safe Act Introduced to Prevent Identity Theft of Social Security Numbers of Deceased Americans

To better protect the Social Security numbers (SSNs) of deceased Americans from identity theft, the “Keeping IDs Safe Act” was recently introduced in the U.S. House by Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas), according to a press release on Johnson’s website. Also known as the “KIDS Act,” the legislature would make it harder for identity thieves to steal SSNs of deceased children and others by limiting access to the Death Master File publicly released by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Continue reading

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shoppers Given Tips to Avoid Identity Theft and Fraud

With the arrival of Thanksgiving, shoppers are constantly warned to avoid identity theft and fraud during “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving considered the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season. For “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend when shoppers return to work and start their holiday shopping online – and which became the biggest online shopping day in history and the first to surpass the billion-dollar threshold in November 2010 – nonprofit consumer information and advocacy organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) offers the following 10 tips to protect online shoppers from identity theft and fraud. Continue reading

GAO Report Reveals Huge Jump in Tax-Related Identity Theft Incidents Identified by IRS

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report titled ‘TAXES AND IDENTITY THEFT – Status of IRS Initiatives to Help Victimized Taxpayers’ that reveals a huge jump in the number of tax-related identity theft incidents identified by Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Primarily refund or employment fraud attempts, the IRS identified 248,357 tax-related identity theft incidents in 2010, nearly five times the amount of such incidents reported in 2008. Continue reading

Report on Child Identity Theft Reveals 1 in 10 Children Targeted by Identity Thieves

It may be hard for most parents to imagine that their children could have homes in foreclosure or huge bills in collection before they are even old enough to apply for student loans for college, but a new report released by Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab – “Child Identity Theft: New Evidence Indicates Identity Thieves are Targeting Children for Unused Social Security Numbers” – reveals that one in ten 10 children scanned for the report had someone else using their Social Security number (SSN) to commit identity theft and fraud. Continue reading