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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Identity Theft Company LifeLock Once Again Failed To Actually Keep Identities Protected, Must Pay $100M
Five months after federal and state regulators accused identity theft protection company LifeLock of violating a 2010 settlement in which it paid $11 million for allegedly using false claims regarding effectiveness of its services, the company has been ordered to pay $100 million in penalties and refunds for once again misleading consumers. [More]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]