Archive for February, 2014

FTC: Identity theft is the plague of the country

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Network World – The Federal Trade Commission today issued its annual look at what consumers in the United States are complaining about the most.

And for the 14th consecutive year the winner, or loser really, for 2013 was identity theft, receiving over 290,000 or 14%
of the agency’s 2 million overall complaints. Thirty percent of these incidents were tax- or wage-related, which continues
to be the largest category within identity theft complaints, the FTC stated.

The identity theft totals were actually down from 2012 when the agency said it got 369,132 or 18%, of the complaints were related to identity
theft. Of those, more than 43% related to tax- or wage-related fraud, the agency stated.

+More on Network World CIA chief: Internet of Things, infrastructure attacks are big security headaches | IRS warns on ‘Dirty Dozen’ tax scams for 2014 | US Secret Service: Stronger laws could help fight sophisticated cybercrime +

Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft and fraud complaints, followed by Georgia and California
for identity theft complaints, and Nevada and Georgia for fraud and other complaints, the FTC noted.

The IRS recently included identity theft as its No.1 scam in its annual Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2014.  In many cases, an
identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.  

The Top 10 complaints are:

  1. Identity Theft
  2. Debt Collection
  3. Banks and Lenders
  4. Imposter Scams
  5. Telephone and Mobile Services
  6. Prizes, Sweepstakes, and Lotteries
  7. Auto Related Complaints
  8. Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales
  9. Television and Electronic Media
  10. Advance Payment for Credit Services

Over 1 million complaints were fraud-related costing consumers $1.6 billion in loses, the FTC stated. Forty-eight percent
of all fraud-related complaints reported the method of initial contact. Of those complaints, 40% said the telephone, while
another 33% said e-mail. Only 5% of those consumers reported mail as the initial point of contact.

Read more about security in Network World’s Security section.

Article source: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2014/022714-ftc-identity-theft-279265.html

Technorati Tags: ,

Florida tops in identity theft once again, FTC says

Friday, February 28th, 2014

<!–Florida tops in identity theft once again, FTC says | www.palmbeachpost.com

View mobile site

View mobile site

Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 | 6:30 a.m.

Breaking news starts here

Posted: 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014



CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY

More News

“, “id”: “writecapture82531644”, “widget_prototype”: “writecapture_widget”});

tags on all website pages, as close as possible to the opening tag. $NEWLINECreation Date: 12/19/2012 — $NEWLINE$NEWLINE$NEWLINE$NEWLINE$NEWLINE$BEGINSCRIPT type=”text/javascript”$NEWLINE/* */$NEWLINE$ENDSCRIPT$NEWLINE$BEGINSCRIPT type=”text/javascript” src=”//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”$NEWLINE$ENDSCRIPT$NEWLINE

$NEWLINE$NEWLINE$NEWLINE$NEWLINE

“, “id”: “writecapture93434349”, “widget_prototype”: “writecapture_widget”});

© 2014 Cox Media Group. By using this website,
you accept the terms of our Visitor Agreement and Privacy Policy, and understand your options regarding Ad ChoicesAdChoices.

View mobile site

View mobile site

Enterprise Feedback Management
Survey Software

Select a display name and password

Already have an account? Sign In

{* #registrationForm *}
{* traditionalRegistration_displayName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_emailAddress *}
{* traditionalRegistration_password *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirm *}

Tell us about yourself

{* registration_firstName *}
{* registration_lastName *}
{* registration_postalZip *}
{* registration_birthday *}
{* registration_gender *}

{* agreeToTerms *}

{* /registrationForm *}

Already have an account? Sign In

{* #registrationFormBlank *}
{* registration_firstName *}
{* registration_lastName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_displayName *}
{* traditionalRegistration_emailAddressBlank *}
{* registration_birthday *}
{* registration_gender *}
{* registration_postalZip *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordBlank *}
{* traditionalRegistration_passwordConfirmBlank *}

{* agreeToTerms *}

{* /registrationForm *}

We have sent you a confirmation email. Please check your email and click on the link to activate your account.

We look forward to seeing you frequently. Visit us and sign in to update your profile, receive the latest news and keep up to date with mobile alerts.

Don’t worry, it happens. We’ll send you a link to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *}
{* forgotPassword_emailAddress *}

{* /forgotPasswordForm *}

We have sent you an email with a link to change your password.

We’ve sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.

To sign in you must verify your email address. Fill out the form below and we’ll send you an email to verify.

{* #resendVerificationForm *}
{* resendVerification_emailAddress *}

{* /resendVerificationForm *}

Check your email for a link to verify your email address.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/florida-tops-in-identity-theft-once-again-ftc-says/nd22B/

Technorati Tags: ,

South Florida #1 in U.S. for identity theft: Why?

Friday, February 28th, 2014

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A new report from the Federal Trade Commission has found that south Florida is ‘number one’ when it comes to the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft occurs every three seconds – and too often it is happening in the Sunshine State. It was the top complaint of American consumers in 2013.

Jacie Keeley of Delray Beach does not know where or when it happened to her. “No idea,” she said. “A very smart and clever person.” Keeley said she was victimized back in 2011 but did not find out about it until last year. The damage to her credit had already been done.

The new Federal Trade Commission report found that the metropolitan area that includes Palm Beach County is the worst of the worst. For every 10,000 people, statistics show that about 645 people fall victim.

“Florida really has a big target on it,” said tech security expert Alan Crowetz, President and CEO of InfoStream , based in Palm Beach County. Crowetz says the large transient and tourist population may be boosting Florida’s ID theft ranking.

“You come here, you are on public Wi-Fi and unknown hotels,” he said. “If someone rips you off, the next day you may not even be in the same city any more.”

ID thieves act fast and often prey on older, less tech-savvy people. Crowetz says that could be another vulnerability for Florida – reflected in the FTC findings.

“This isn’t just a potential threat,” he said. “This is really happening right here in our area.”

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, experts say you have to act quickly. On average, once an identity is stolen, it will be used approximately 30 times.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/south-florida-1-in-us-for-identity-theft-why

Technorati Tags: ,

Identity Theft Ringleader Headed to Prison

Friday, February 28th, 2014

A Peabody man was
sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday for “heading an identity theft
ring that used the identities of a Florida company’s employees to cause
$375,000 in credit card losses at large retail stores,”
according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

William
Dodge, 46, was sentenced to seven years in prison, three years of supervised
release, $375,000 in restitution and forfeiture of criminal proceeds. He was
sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro. 

Dodge pleaded guilty in
May 2012 to credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and
aggravated identity theft.

According
to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

“When Dodge
was in Florida, he met the benefits administrator for a Florida-based company
and obtained from her lists of coworkers’ identity information, such as their
names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.  

“Dodge traveled to
Boston where he and at least five co-conspirators obtained false identity cards
bearing Dodge’s or the co-conspirators’ pictures and the Florida company
employees’ personal information. The false identity cards looked like
Massachusetts drivers’ licenses and allowed the co-conspirators to pose as the
employees from the Florida company.

“With the false identity
cards, Dodge and the co-conspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees
at large chain retail stores. When it came time to pay for the
merchandise, Dodge and his co-conspirators lacked a working credit card
number.  So they pretended to have left their store credit card at home
and asked the store to remind them of the number. The stores, taken in by
the false identity cards, often complied. 

“If the
identity victim had no credit account at the store, Dodge and his
co-conspirators applied for a new credit account in the identity victim’s
name.  Again, the stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often
complied. Upon obtaining a new or existing credit card number, Dodge and his
co-conspirators used the account to purchase gift cards and other merchandise,
such as electronics, that they could resell. The stores lost money,
because Dodge and the co-conspirators did not pay the credit
bills.     

“As the group’s ringleader, Dodge
directed his co-conspirators’ actions and took about 50% of their
profits. The conspiracy netted over $375,000 in merchandise and services,
with Dodge personally responsible by posing as an identity theft victim for
over $212,000 of the losses.”

Article source: http://peabody.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/identity-theft-ringleader-headed-to-prison

Technorati Tags: ,

Identity theft leads top consumer complaints in US – FTC

Friday, February 28th, 2014


WASHINGTON Feb 27 (Reuters) – The seemingly intractable
problem of identity theft once again led the list of top
consumer complaints in 2013, with U.S. consumers reporting that
they lost $1.6 billion to various types of fraud, the Federal
Trade Commission said in a report released Thursday.

Of the 2 million consumer complaints that the commission
received last year, 290,056, or 14 percent, were related to
identity theft, the FTC said. Florida had the highest per capita
rate of identity theft.

“This (identify theft) has topped the list since at least
2006,” said David Torok, director of the FTC’s Division of
Planning and Information.

Identity thieves can make purchases on credit cards they
don’t own or make withdrawals from the victim’s bank account,
among other kinds of fraud.

Ten percent of consumer complaints to the FTC, or 204,644,
were related to debt collection such as a collector trying to
collect a debt that wasn’t owed, harassing a debtor or making
false statements about the debt.

Another 7 percent of complaints were related to banks and
lenders, such as payday loan problems or unexpected overdraft
charges. Imposter scams, such as people claiming to be from the
government and demanding payment of a debt that doesn’t exist,
was at 6 percent.

Complaints about telephone and mobile services were also at
6 percent each, including unexpected charges on mobile or phone
bills.

Rounding out the top 10 consumer complaints were concerns
about prizes and lotteries (4 percent), auto-related complaints
(4 percent), shop-at-home and catalog sales (3 percent),
television and electronic media (3 percent) and advance payment
for credit services (2 percent).

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/usa-ftc-identitytheft-idUSL1N0LW1FD20140227

Technorati Tags: ,

Identity theft again leads US top fraud complaints: FTC

Friday, February 28th, 2014


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The seemingly intractable problem of identity theft led the list of top consumer complaints once again in 2013, with U.S. consumers reporting that they lost over $1.6 billion to various types of fraud, the Federal Trade Commission said in a report released on Thursday.

Of the 2 million consumer complaints that the commission received last year, 290,056, or about 14 percent, were related to identity theft, the FTC said.

“This (identify theft) has topped the list since at least 2006,” said David Torok, director of the FTC’s Division of Planning and Information.

Identity thieves can make purchases on credit cards they do not own, make withdrawals from a victim’s bank account or take out loans in the victim’s name, among other kinds of fraud.

Florida had the highest per capita rate of fraud, with 804.9 people reporting a problem out of every 100,000 in population, the FTC said in its report for 2013. North Dakota had the lowest rate of reported fraud.

The average victim lost $2,294, according to the FTC, which said that 61 percent of those defrauded in 2013 put a dollar value on their losses.

A total of 43 percent of fraud victims were reached through email, while 21 percent were telephoned and another 20 percent were defrauded through a website, the FTC said.

AND THE WINNER IS … IDENTITY FRAUD

While identity fraud was the top source of consumer complaints at 14 percent in 2013, debt collection (10 percent) was second. Complaints were such things as a collector either tried to collect a debt that was not owed, harassed a debtor or made false statements about debt.

Another 7 percent of complaints were related to banks and lenders, such as payday loan problems or unexpected overdraft charges. Imposter scams, such as people claiming to be from the government and demanding payment of a debt that does not exist, accounted for 6 percent of the reported fraud cases.

Complaints about telephone and mobile services were also at 6 percent each, including such problems as unexpected charges on mobile or phone bills.

Rounding out the top 10 consumer complaints were: concerns about prizes and lotteries (4 percent); auto-related complaints (4 percent); shop-at-home and catalog sales (3 percent); television and electronic media (3 percent) and advance payment for credit services (2 percent).

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis and G Crosse)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-usa-ftc-identitytheft-idUSBREA1Q1LN20140227

Technorati Tags: ,

Identity Theft On a College Campus

Thursday, February 27th, 2014


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –

Officials say identity theft on a college campus may be an issue for some in Indiana.

Authorities say the names, addresses and social security numbers of about 146,000 students and recent graduates of seven Indiana University campuses may have been exposed.

Some Missouri State University students say they couldn’t never imagine their personal information getting out, especially from the school they attend.

“It’s definitely a scary thought, I’ve screen a movie about it, you see it on the news a lot, a very real which makes it even more scary, the things that they can do with your social security number is pretty much immeasurable,” says Ashely Chuch, the junior from Illinois.

Stephanie Brodwater says her parents explained to her the importance of her social security number at a very young ago.

“My parents have told me when I was younger like don’t give it out to anybody, make sure that if you do write it down for like a job or school that it is secure and your school or employer knows what’s going to happen with that,” says Brodwater.

Ryan Campbell, a junior from Kansas City, Mo. says he has enough on his plate as a student without having to deal with identify theft.

“I just think they should try there hardest to get that information back because school already adds enough stress to your life that you shouldn’t have to stress about what’s going on with my identify,” says Campbell.

Missouri State University offers advice on the schools web site for students about sharing sensitive data and other tips to staying safe but university officials were not available for comment.

Indiana University says it has found no evidence that the files were viewed or used for anything illegal but it said it will begin notifying all of the affected students this week.

Indiana University says no servers or systems were compromised, and the student information “was not downloaded by an unauthorized individual looking for specific sensitive data,”  in a news release.

Article source: http://www.kspr.com/news/local/identity-theft-on-a-college-campus/21051620_24700898

Technorati Tags: ,

Peabody man sentenced to 7 years in identity theft case

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

A Peabody man was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison for leading an identity theft ring that used the identities of a Florida company’s employees to make $375,000 in bogus charges at retail stores, federal prosecutors said.

William Dodge, 46, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to forfeit criminal proceeds, and pay $375,000 in restitution. In May 2012, Dodge pleaded guilty to credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft, said US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in a statement.

The scheme unfolded when Dodge met with the benefits administrator for the Florida-based company. He obtained from her a list of her co-workers’ names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers, Ortiz said.

Dodge, along with at least five coconspirators, obtained fake identification cards bearing their photos and the stolen identification information. The cards resembled Massachusetts driver’s licenses, according to Ortiz.

With the cards, Dodge and the coconspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees at large retail stores. When they went to pay for merchandise, Dodge or the coconspirators would claim to have left their store credit card at home. They would ask the store to remind them of the number and then they would present the fake license, Ortiz said in the statement.

The stores would often provide the information and complete the transaction. If the victim whose identity had been stolen did not have a credit card account at the store, the identity thief would apply for one, Ortiz said.

The name of the Florida company was not disclosed by authorities.

Dodge and his team would use the credit accounts to purchase gift cards, electronics, and other merchandise they could resell. They would not pay the credit card bills, Ortiz said.

As the ringleader, Dodge directed his coconspirators’ actions and took about 50 percent of their profits.

Article source: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/02/26/peabody-man-sentenced-years-identity-theft-case/zSdut723RvTgqkZmhx7k8J/story.html

Technorati Tags: ,

IRS Probing ID Theft Of UPMC Employees

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Close to two dozen UPMC employees have become the recent victims of identity theft.

Their tax information was stolen, and now the IRS is investigating just how far reaching this could be.

Jackson Hewitt tax preparer Eric Bimber has seen it before.

“A lot of people are having more issues with it. We see more fraudulent returns, returns being rejected from the IRS,” Bimber said. “I feel like every year – there’s more number of people having that issue of having their identity stolen. We hear of security breaches all the time – different companies.”

The most recent company is UPMC, who on Wednesday confirmed that 22 of its employees were victimized by identity thieves.

Officials say those thieves filed bogus federal tax returns with employees’ Social Security numbers, presumably stolen from the victim’s W-2 tax forms, lifted right out of their mailbox.

“We are aggressively investigating with the United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service and United States Postal Inspection Service to determine the root cause,” Gloria Kreps, a spokeswoman for UPMC, said. “At this time, we do not know that this tax fraud is being perpetrated solely against UPMC employees, but believe that it is broader fraud.”

“People that have that instance that we have to let them know that their return is not going through electronically because somebody has filed their Social, typically they’re more upset because they don’t know,” Bimber said. “We don’t know who filed for them, only the IRS would have that information.”

Bimber says after victims notify the IRS fraud department, getting their money back can be a lengthy process of six months or even longer.

RELATED LINKS:
More UPMC News
More Reports by Christine D’Antonio

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Article source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/02/26/irs-probing-id-theft-of-upmc-employees/

Technorati Tags: ,

Peabody Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Heading Identity Theft Ring

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

BOSTON—A Peabody man was sentenced today for heading an identity theft ring that used the identities of a Florida company’s employees to cause $375,000 in credit card losses at large retail stores.

William Dodge, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, $375,000 in restitution, and forfeiture of criminal proceeds. In May 2012, Dodge pleaded guilty to credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

When Dodge was in Florida, he met the benefits administrator for a Florida-based company and obtained from her lists of coworkers’ identity information, such as their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Dodge traveled to Boston where he and at least five co-conspirators obtained false identity cards bearing Dodge’s or the co-conspirators’ pictures and the Florida company employees’ personal information. The false identity cards looked like Massachusetts drivers’ licenses and allowed the co-conspirators to pose as the employees from the Florida company.

With the false identity cards, Dodge and the co-conspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees at large chain retail stores. When it came time to pay for the merchandise, Dodge and his co-conspirators lacked a working credit card number. So, they pretended to have left their store credit card at home and asked the store to remind them of the number. The stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often complied. If the identity victim had no credit account at the store, Dodge and his co-conspirators applied for a new credit account in the identity victim’s name. Again, the stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often complied. Upon obtaining a new or existing credit card number, Dodge and his co-conspirators used the account to purchase gift cards and other merchandise, such as electronics, that they could resell. The stores lost money, because Dodge and the co-conspirators did not pay the credit bills.

As the group’s ringleader, Dodge directed his co-conspirators’ actions and took about 50 percent of their profits. The conspiracy netted over $375,000 in merchandise and services, with Dodge personally responsible by posing as an identity theft victim for over $212,000 of the losses.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office thanks the Florida company for cooperating during the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland, formerly of Ortiz’s Cyber Crime Unit and currently of the National Security and Anti-Terrorism Unit.

Article source: http://www.fbi.gov/boston/press-releases/2014/peabody-man-sentenced-to-seven-years-for-heading-identity-theft-ring

Technorati Tags: ,