While there are plenty of cable servicemen doing awesome things like saving kittens and well, the normal business of installing Internet so we can read about kittens getting saved, one contractor kept himself involved in his customers lives in a less than savory way. In order to file a bunch of fraudulent tax returns, totaling about $91,000, he simply hooked himself up to customers’ Internet service after he’d installed it.
The Alabama man was found guilty of filing at least 27 fraudulent 2011 tax returns, seeking $91,304 in refunds, reports AL.com, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Here’s how his scam went down, according to court documents: The man and his co-conspirators stole people’s identities by way of a prison guard and an employee at a debt collection agency. Then while working as independent contractor for a cable company, the man would install Internet at various homes, go back to his house and file the fraudulent returns using his customers’ services.
That way, it looked like the customer had filed the false returns, instead of him. He’d direct the tax refunds to be paid via pre-paid debit cards, which were ultimately intercepted by the United States Postal Service.
Of course we’re not saying every cable installer is going to rip you off, but it just goes to show the plethora of ways there are out there to have your personal information abused.
*Thanks for the tip, Wayne!