identity theft

Josh McGinn

It’s Disturbingly Easy To Reroute Someone Else’s Mail

The U.S. Postal Service has made the process of changing your address when you move super easy and convenient, by just filling out a form online and paying $1. Maybe that’s not so good, though: The process is so easy that an identity thief can redirect your mall to their address by just filling out a form online and paying $1. [More]

quinn.anya

Dead Child’s Family Uses Ancestry.com To Find Man Accused Of Stealing His Identity

While the internet has only made identity theft easier for criminals in recent years, the web can also prove helpful in busting those posing as someone else. To wit: The family of a boy who died in 1972 at two months old recently found a man accused of posing as the deceased child while researching their family tree online. [More]

Sol Es

AIG Now Sells Cybersecurity Insurance That Covers Online Bullying, Extortion

Most big companies have some sort of insurance to cover their butts in a world where data breaches are an everyday occurrence, but now AIG is joining the ranks of insurers offering (wealthy) consumers coverage as a buffer against the threat of the internet. [More]

Search Warrant Issued For Everyone Who Googled Identity Theft Victim’s Name

Search Warrant Issued For Everyone Who Googled Identity Theft Victim’s Name

Try to imagine a police officer in the pre-internet era serving a search warrant on the phone company, wanting the names of everyone who looked up a certain number. What would have seemed ludicrous at the time is now feasible, and one judge believes Google should turn over the personal information for anyone who used the search engine to look up a victim’s name. [More]

Rick Drew

Prison Emails Inmates Social Security Numbers To Convicted ID Thief

We don’t know why a man previously convicted of identity theft (and making bomb threats) would be sending public record requests for current prison rosters. Everyone needs a hobby, right? The ID thief in this story received a bonus when one prison sent him the list of more than 2,000 inmates’ names: their full Social Security numbers. [More]

(Consumerist Dot Com)

Two Women Charged With Filing More Than 850 Fraudulent Tax Returns Worth $2.78M

Every year you hear about identity thieves filing tax returns in other peoples’ names in order to snatch their refunds, but you may not realize what a big business this is for some crooks. Case in point: A pair of Illinois women who have pleaded guilty to filing more than 850 bogus returns worth nearly $2.8 million in refunds. [More]

(frankieleon)

My Identity Was Stolen, Then TransUnion Let The Fraudster Unfreeze My Accounts

One of the smart things to do when your identity has been stolen is to contact the three major credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — to discuss placing a temporary fraud alert and credit freeze on your accounts. But as one Consumerist reader found out, all it takes to remove those restrictions is the same information that any good ID thief already knows about you. [More]

Sh4rp_i

How To Avoid Losing Money To The “Utility Company” Scam

When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don’t let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone. [More]

Ciaran McGuiggan

Why Is Credit-Card Fraud Still Rising In The New Chip Era?

For years, American consumers have waited for safer credit cards with embedded chips that make them more difficult to clone, and which can require a unique PIN or a signature to use. Now that these cards are finally in widespread use, and retailers are begrudgingly shifting over to new card-readers, why is identity fraud still on the rise? [More]

AJENT.MSG

Tax Season Is Now Open: Here’s Why You Should File ASAP

As of today, tax season is officially open! While you might want to file as early as you can if you’re expecting a refund, there’s also a very good reason why you should file as soon as you have your documents in order: to block overseas identity thieves from doing it first. [More]

frankieleon

If You’re Relying On Your Tax Refund, IRS Warns It May Come Late This Year

There are just a few weeks left until tax preparation season kicks off, and today the Internal Revenue Service had some bad news for families that receive the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit: they will not receive their tax refunds until the end of February. [More]

Mom Says College Stole Her ID, Forged Signature To Take Out Student Loan For Son Who Didn’t Attend School

Mom Says College Stole Her ID, Forged Signature To Take Out Student Loan For Son Who Didn’t Attend School

A for-profit educator that was recently hit with a $13 million settlement for allegedly filing false claims for student aid is now accused of stealing an Alabama woman’s identity and forging her signature to take out a student loan for her son, even though he never attended that school. [More]

Kimpton Hotels Investigating Possible Credit Card Breach

Kimpton Hotels Investigating Possible Credit Card Breach

You might not be familiar with the Kimpton chain of boutique hotels, but we can guarantee that a lot of business travelers (and the folks in their companies’ accounting departments) are now keeping an eye out for odd activity on their credit cards after news of a possible payment card data breach affecting multiple Kimpton locations. [More]

Adam Fagen

6 Things We Learned About The IRS’s Fight Against Fraud And Identity Theft

Things are difficult for the IRS right now. For the last few years, people contacting the IRS have encountered lengthy phone hold times, and identity theft and refund fraud drain billions of dollars’ worth of tax refunds into the pockets of international criminals. The Government Accountability Office has the job of overseeing government agencies, including the IRS, and it released a new report today about its issues and possible ways to fix them. [More]

Roger Shaw

Identity Theft Victim Confronts Alleged Scammer

There’s an episode of Friends in which Monica’s identity is stolen and she goes on to become best friends with the woman posing as Monica Geller, you know, before she goes to jail. Things didn’t so quite the same for a Los Angeles woman who says she confronted a couple she alleges used her identity to open credit card accounts and file income tax returns. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Home Depot Agrees To Pay $20M To Settle 2014 Data Breach Lawsuit

Nearly two years after Home Depot said 56 million consumers’ credit and debit cards, as well as email addresses, were compromised in a massive data breach, the home improvement retailer has reached a $19.5 million deal to settle a class-action lawsuit and compensate those customers.  [More]

IRS Tool To Protect Identity Theft Victims Vulnerable To Identity Thieves

IRS Tool To Protect Identity Theft Victims Vulnerable To Identity Thieves

Every year, we warn you about tax return identity theft: bad guys all over the world obtain enough personal information about U.S. taxpayers to file fake tax returns and steal our refunds. After a taxpayer’s identity gets stolen in this way, the Internal Revenue Service issues them a special identification number that they have to enter when filing their tax return. The problem is that these numbers are pretty easy to access, too, and the IRS doesn’t have a good replacement yet. [More]

(Trisha)

ID Thieves Hijacking Accounts To Cash In On Bogus Warranties

In a pre-online era, when we made most purchases in person, getting a warranty replacement on a broken product often required taking the defective item back to where you bought it. But now that we’re all buying things online, a number of retailers are willing to ship you a replacement on the understanding that you’ll immediately return the original item. ID thieves are taking advantage of this goodwill, hijacking customers’ accounts and convincing companies to send them free replacements for items they never bought. [More]