(Great Beyond)

IRS Working With State Agencies & Tax Preparation Companies To Combat Refund Fraud

It’s been a rough year for the Internal Revenue Service, what with thieves stealing information for roughly 100,000 taxpayers and a slew of fraudulent refunds filed with TurboTax that had the FBI and various states scrambling to investigate. Now the IRS says it’s working with state agencies and tax-preparation firms to combat stolen-identity refund fraud. [More]

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

IRS Suspects Russian Identity Thieves In Data Breach

You may remember that the Internal Revenue Service announced late yesterday that about 100,000 taxpayers’ personal information was breached when thieves armed with their personal information were able to log in to the IRS transcript system and extract even more sensitive information about their victims. Today, we learned that the IRS suspects that an organized group of hackers out of Russia are responsible for the 200,000 attempts to extract taxpayer data. [More]

IRS: Thieves Obtained Information On 100,000 Taxpayers From Transcript System

IRS: Thieves Obtained Information On 100,000 Taxpayers From Transcript System

A tax transcript is a document from the IRS that shows key information from tax returns that you’ve already filed, or changes to what you and the government owe each other that may have been made after the return was filed. You can normally order them online, but the system is now closed after the IRS learned that people identified only as “thieves” accessed transcripts for about 100,000 people. [More]

The FTC launched a new tool today that aims to make it easier for consumers to recover from identity theft.

FTC Rolls Out Interactive Resource For Victims Of Identity Theft

With seemingly daily reports of new data breaches and related scams, it’s no secret that identity theft is now more of a concern than ever. In an effort to help victims work their way through the process of restoring and protecting their identities, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new online interactive tool. [More]

(CBS 2)

Illinois AG Sues Company For Dumping Medical Files Containing Patients’ Personal Info In The Trash

When you get medical treatment, the information that goes into your file is extensive and can contain a whole lot of personal information like your name, address, Social Security Number as well as your medical history. That private stuff should be kept from the prying eyes of others, which is exactly the opposite of what Illinois prosecutors say one company did when allegedly dumping medical files in the trash. [More]

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The Other Danger Of Online Payday Loans: Identity Theft

Many people who seek online payday loans are already in a very vulnerable position when they take on the added risk of the excessive interest rates and often exorbitant fees associated with these short-term loans. But there’s another danger possibly lurking in the payday shadows: Having all their personal and financial data end up in the hands of cyber criminals. [More]

(Noah Jacquemin)

L.A. Man Claims Identity Theft Has Left Stranded Him In Mexico For Weeks

A U.S. citizen from Los Angeles says his visit to Mexico has lasted much longer than he anticipated, after he claims someone stole his identity, prompting border officials to keep him out of the country for now. [More]

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How To Verify Your Identity In Case The IRS Suspects Suspicious Tax Return Activity

In the aftermath of revelations that fraudsters exploited TurboTax and had possibly filed bogus returns in many states, the Internal Revenue Service is contacting people linked to suspiciously filed returns, and asking them to verify their identity to find out if the return is real or not. [More]

(André-Pierre du Plessis)

Fraud Victim’s Impossible Choice: Eat $1,500 In Charges Or Be Banned From PayPal Forever

When a customer’s chargeback scheme left one PayPal customer down $1,500 and without the pricey headphones that they had sold, the person who sold the headphones was understandably upset. It’s wrong to rip anyone off, but they’re an individual seller rather than a faceless corporation. PayPal reduced the amount that this person owed to $700, but that was still $700 more than they really owed anyone. What’s a consumer to do? In this case, post to Reddit. [More]

Anthem Says Data From As Far Back As 2004 Exposed During Hack, Offering Free Identity Theft Protection

Anthem Says Data From As Far Back As 2004 Exposed During Hack, Offering Free Identity Theft Protection

A week after health insurer Anthem announced that it was the latest victim of a security breach, the company revealed that hackers had access to tens of millions of customers’ data going back as far as 2004. [More]

Boston TSA Agents Find Dozens Of Credit Cards Under Different Names Stuffed Inside Teddy Bear

Boston TSA Agents Find Dozens Of Credit Cards Under Different Names Stuffed Inside Teddy Bear

Stuffed animals serve a simple purpose: To be cute and cuddly. As such, they’re imbued with a sort of innocence, so far as inanimate object can be, which is perhaps why someone thought no one would notice if a sweet little teddy bear was stuffed chock full of what could be stolen credit cards. [More]

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Reminder: Don’t Post Photos Of Your Paycheck On Social Media If You’d Like To Avoid ID Theft

One way to be sure you aren’t sharing your financial information with the entire Internet? Don’t post it on social media by way of a paycheck made out to you. Yes, you should be proud that you’re raking in the dough. But if you want to keep your identity safe, plastering it on the web is not the way to go. [More]

Did Someone At The DMV Steal This Woman’s Identity? Maybe

Did Someone At The DMV Steal This Woman’s Identity? Maybe

Over on Reddit, one poster in the the /r/personalfinance subreddit shared the terrible thing that happened to his fiancée when she visited her local Department of Motor Vehicles to change the address on her driver’s license. It’s not clear what happened or exactly how, but what they know is that someone issued a new license with her name and information and a different ID number. This person also has her Social Security number. [More]

(Sh4rp_i)

Don’t Recycle Your Personal Information Into Identity Thieves’ Hands

Recycling paper: it’s supposedly better for the environment han tossing your old paperwork in a landfill, so it makes us feel good. All of our old paperwork is a bountiful harvest for someone who isn’t making brown paper napkins, though. If you aren’t careful, your personal and financial information could get recycled right into someone else’s hands. [More]

(analogkid281)

Family Accused Of Stealing 19 Identities To Buy $56,000 Worth Of Home Depot Gift Cards

As the ancient Sumerian saying goes: The family that steals a whole lot of identities in order to ring up a slew of fraudulent charges together, gets arrested together. A couple, their adult children and a daughter-in-law have all been nabbed by cops, accused of an identity theft scheme that brought in $56,000 worth of goods at Home Depot. [More]

Offering Credit Monitoring After A Breach Is Good PR, Not Helpful To Consumers

Whenever there’s a large credit card or data breach, the companies to which we entrusted our data rush to offer free credit report monitoring to victims. That’s very nice of them, but is it really helpful when someone has stolen your payment information? Nope, say experts. It may be helpful when other personal info is stolen, but not when it’s your credit or debit card number.  [Krebs on Security]

Protect Your Refund: Consumer Advocates Warn Tax  Scammers Will Steal Your Identity

Protect Your Refund: Consumer Advocates Warn Tax Scammers Will Steal Your Identity

It’s that time of year again: tax time. While almost everyone is excited for their well-earned tax return to arrive, there’s a group of people ready to take that money away from you. Thankfully, the National Consumers League wants to make sure consumers don’t fall victim to tax ID thieves. [More]

Best Buy Customer Claims Employee Stole His Identity And Used It To Buy Stuff At Best Buy

Best Buy Customer Claims Employee Stole His Identity And Used It To Buy Stuff At Best Buy

When you use your retailer credit card at one of the company’s stores, it might seem like that’s the safest place to use it. But one Best Buy customer said he feels decidedly unsafe and has lost trust in the store after an employee allegedly swiped his personal information to gain access to his store card. [More]