Archive for January, 2015

Man Charged With Identity Theft

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Andre West, 34, of the 2500 block of West Flournoy Street, is facing seven felony charges, police said.
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CHICAGO — A West Side man is facing multiple felony charges after guns, heroin, credit card counterfeiting devices and altered credit cards were discovered at his home, police said.

Officers arrested Andre West, 34, after discovering a handgun in his car during a traffic stop in the 2400 block of West Van Buren Street, they said.

During a police search of West’s home in the 2500 block of West Flournoy Street around 8 p.m. Wednesday, five more weapons, more than 20 grams of heroin, credit card counterfeiting devices and numerous altered credit cards were found, police said.

West was charged with possession of counterfeit credit cards, possession of document-making instruments, identity theft, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and manufacturing or delivering heroin, police said.

West is expected in bond court Thursday.

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Article source: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150129/pilsen/man-charged-with-identity-theft

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Sisters accused of identity theft in West Haven

Friday, January 30th, 2015
Tonya Flynn, 33, of West Haven, is facing several charges including identity theft. (Photo: West Haven Police)
Tonya Flynn, 33, of West Haven, is facing several charges including identity theft. (Photo: West Haven Police)
2015-01-29  Brittany Flynn West Haven Electric Theft
Brittany Flynn of West Haven is currently wanted by police. If you’ve seen her, you’re asked to call West Haven police at 203-937-3900. (Photo: West Haven police)

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One West Haven woman has been arrested on several charges including identity theft, while her sister is still wanted in connection with identity theft and larceny.

Police say that during the month of September 2014, detectives launched an investigation into 33-year-old Tonya Flynn. United Illuminating officials informed police that Flynn was trying to receive electrical service to her residence by portraying herself to be someone else.

As part of their investigation, officers executed a search and seizure warrant at Flynn’s residence in December. Their search found not only personal documents belonging to the original victim in the case, but Social Security Cards, birth certificates, identifications, blank checks, and credit card numbers for approximately fifteen other potential victims were also found in Tonya Flynn’s possession.

On Tuesday, officers arrested Flynn and served her with eight warrants. She faces a long list of charges, including identity theft, larceny, and conspiracy.

Further investigation has led police to issue an arrest warrant for Tonya Flynn’s sister, Brittany Flynn, who is accused of identity theft and larceny. Brittany Flynn is currently wanted by West Haven police. If you see her, or know of her whereabouts, you’re asked to call West Haven police at 203-937-3900.

Article source: http://wtnh.com/2015/01/29/sisters-accused-of-identity-theft-in-west-haven/

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Man accused of changing ID theft victim’s name seeks delay

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Mexican man accused of an identity theft scheme in which he changed a U.S. citizen’s legal name to his own wants court proceedings delayed.

Attorneys for Ramon Perez-Rivera and his wife, Antonia Vargas-Ortega, filed an unopposed motion Tuesday seeking to stall their Feb. 17 trial for 60 days.

Their lawyers say they need more time to review the evidence and evaluate how to proceed.

The couple’s indictment outlines one of the most unusual identity theft cases in the country.

Prosecutors allege Perez-Rivera convinced a court to change the name of the ID theft victim to his own. He is accused of then using that identity to obtain food stamps and Medicaid, register to vote and obtain a U.S. passport and a driver’s license.

Article source: http://www.kwch.com/news/local-news/man-accused-of-changing-id-theft-victims-name-seeks-delay/30959626

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New York man gets over 14 years for ID theft scheme – The Virginian

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

NEWPORT NEWS

A New York man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 14 years in prison on charges he helped orchestrate an elaborate ID theft ring that involved burglaries of mortgage offices.

Jeffrey “Lef” Washington, 30, pleaded guilty last year to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, the scheme spanned more than 18 months and netted more than $250,000.

Prosecutors said Washington and at least one other person burglarized Wells Fargo mortgage offices in five states, stealing more than 1,800 paper files. They then used 29 stolen identities to open fraudulent business accounts at various banks and steal money.

Court documents indicate the scheme prompted Wells Fargo to spend nearly $1.2 million on new alarm systems at its more than 700 mortgage offices..

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Posted to: Crime News Norfolk


Article source: http://hamptonroads.com/2015/01/new-york-man-gets-over-14-years-id-theft-scheme

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Man charged with identity theft, gun and drug possession on Near West Side – Chicago Sun

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

A Near West Side man stopped in traffic Tuesday faces a myriad of charges after police executed a search warrant at his home that night and found weapons, heroin and various credit card counterfeiting devices and altered credit cards.

Andre West, 34, has been charged with the use of a counterfeit credit/debit card, possession of a “document-making implement,” identity theft, aggravated identity theft, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and manufacturing or delivering heroin, all felonies, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

West, of the 2500 block of West Flournoy, was arrested Tuesday after officers conducting a traffic stop in the 2400 block of West Van Buren found a handgun in the vehicle, police said.

About 8 p.m., the officers executed a search warrant at West’s home and discovered five additional weapons, including a defaced firearm, as well as more than 20 grams of heroin and money, police said.

The officers also found various credit card counterfeiting devices and several re-encoded or altered credit cards, police said.

West was arrested without incident, police said. He is scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday.

Article source: http://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/7/71/328404/man-charged-identity-theft-gun-drug-possession-near-west-side

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IRS warns about tax-related ID theft, phone scams

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

PHOENIX, Arizona — The Internal Revenue Service issued a filing season alert warning taxpayers to watch out for identity theft and phone scams at tax time, which are some of the year’s Dirty Dozen tax scams.

“We remain dedicated to stopping tax-related identity theft and protecting taxpayers, and we are making important progress on that front. Taxpayers still need to be extremely careful and do everything they can to avoid becoming a victim,” said John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner.

The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.

This year for the first time, the IRS will issue the individual Dirty Dozen scams from Jan. 22-Feb. 6 to raise consumer awareness. The news releases will be available on the IRS website each day.

Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual Dirty Dozen list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season.

Phone scams

The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things.

“If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don’t pay immediately, it’s a scam artist calling,” said Koskinen. “The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business.”

Scammers are able to alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. They often leave urgent callback requests. They prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well.

“These criminals try to scare and shock you into providing personal financial information on the spot while you are off guard,” Koskinen said. “Don’t be taken in and don’t engage these people over the phone.”

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has received reports of roughly 290,000 contacts since October 2013 and has become aware of nearly 3,000 victims who have collectively paid over $14 million as a result of the scam, in which individuals make unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials and demanding that they send them cash via prepaid debit cards.

Protect Yourself

As telephone scams continue across the country, the IRS recently put out a new YouTube video with a renewed warning to taxpayers not to be fooled by imposters posing as tax agency representatives. The new Tax Scams video describes some basic tips to help protect taxpayers from tax scams.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

The IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue involving bills or refunds.

Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest, as well as possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice, also known as DOJ, to shutdown cams and prosecute the criminals behind them. Taxpayers should remember that they are legally responsible for what is on their tax returns even if it is prepared by someone else. Make sure the preparer you hire is up to the task.

“We urge people to protect themselves and use caution when viewing e-mails, receiving telephone calls or getting advice on tax issues,” Koskinen said. “Taxpayers should protect their computers and only give out their Social Security numbers when absolutely necessary.”

Identity theft

As a result of these aggressive efforts to combat identity theft from 2011 through October 2014, the IRS has stopped 19 million suspicious returns and protected over $63 billion in fraudulent refunds.

For 2015, the IRS will continue to increase both the number and efficiency of the identity theft data models and filters that are used to identify potentially fraudulent returns. These pre-refund filters stop the vast majority of fraudulent returns. Additionally, the IRS continues to expand its partnerships with financial institutions to identity and stop fraudulent refunds.

IRS Criminal Investigation continues its robust efforts, and in Fiscal Year 2014, the IRS initiated 1,063 identity theft-related investigations. Criminal Investigation enforcement efforts resulted in 748 sentencings as compared to 438 in FY 2013, an increase of 75 percent.  Our incarceration rate rose to 87.7 percent as compared to 80.6 percent in FY 2013. The courts imposed significant jail time with the average months to serve in FY 2014 at 43 months as compared to 38 months in FY 2013 with the longest sentencing being 27 years.

In an effort to help victims, the IRS has issued approximately 1.5 million Identity Protection PINs, also referred to as IP PINs. The IP PIN is a unique, six-digit number that is assigned annually to victims of identity theft with resolved cases for use when filing their federal tax return.  The IP PIN will allow these individuals to avoid delays in filing returns and receiving refunds.

This year, the IRS will continue its IP PIN pilot program that allows taxpayers who filed tax returns last year from Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia to opt into the IP PIN program. Additionally, the IRS is offering approximately 1.7 million taxpayers the opportunity to opt in to the IP PIN program in instances where the IRS has identified indications of identity theft on their accounts.

The IRS understands that identity theft is a frustrating, complex process for victims. While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft has occurred. The IRS is working hard to resolve identity theft cases as quickly as possible.

The IRS offers the following tips as ways to protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Review your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.

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Article source: http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/01/27/irs-warns-tax-related-id-theft-identity-theft-phone-scams/

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Man Accused Of Changing ID Theft Victim’s Name Seeks Delay

Thursday, January 29th, 2015



A Mexican man accused of an identity theft scheme in which he changed a U.S. citizen

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Mexican man accused of an identity theft scheme in which he changed a U.S. citizen’s legal name to his own wants court proceedings delayed.

Attorneys for Ramon Perez-Rivera and his wife, Antonia Vargas-Ortega, filed an unopposed motion Tuesday seeking to stall their Feb. 17 trial for 60 days.

Their lawyers say they need more time to review the evidence and evaluate how to proceed.

The couple’s indictment outlines one of the most unusual identity theft cases in the country.

Prosecutors allege Perez-Rivera convinced a court to change the name of the ID theft victim to his own. He is accused of then using that identity to obtain food stamps and Medicaid, register to vote and obtain a U.S. passport and a driver’s license.

Article source: http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Man-Accused-Of-Changing-ID-Theft-Victims-Name-Seeks-Delay-290045221.html

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Medical identity theft: Why you should worry

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

“The more insidious danger of medical identity theft is when someone sells your insurance information so others can get medical care,” says Steve Weisman, an identity theft expert and lecturer at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. “It’s hard to track down because of (federal) privacy rules, and yet the risk of something like receiving the wrong blood transfusion can be high.”

Also, you could be turned down for life insurance, disability insurance or long-term care insurance if medical identity theft results in false negative information in your health records, he says.

Medical ID theft vs. financial ID theft

The threat of medical identity theft has increased, in part, because of data breaches, such as the one in the spring of 2014 at hospital chain Community Health Systems. Hackers stole information on 4.5 million patients.

“Until recently, there wasn’t a lot of data to steal from medical records, because digitization is relatively new,” says Patterson.

A big difference between medical identity theft and financial identity theft is that the financial services industry has developed systems to address ID fraud. Medical facilities and insurance companies, unlike credit card companies and banks, often don’t have systems in place to alert you to unusual activity, says Frost.

“Someone can have surgery done on your insurance policy, but the company won’t call or verify the claim in advance,” she says.

Also, while a bank or credit card will usually refund your money or remove suspicious charges while an incident is investigated, you might immediately find yourself on the hook for a fraudulent medical bill.

ID thieves are often insiders or relatives

Medical identity thieves often are insiders working at health care facilities, Frost says, and they try to profit from the information they steal.

But most of the time, the culprit is someone close to the victim. In the survey sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, nearly 6 in 10 people whose medical identities had been stolen said they either knowingly shared their insurance information with someone they knew, or a family member took their insurance information without their consent.

Victims of medical identity theft are often poor or elderly with federal health insurance, Patterson says.

“Both Medicare and Medicaid use individuals’ Social Security numbers for identification, which makes them more vulnerable to fraud,” says Patterson. “Even in cases where people are using other types of insurance or no insurance at all, they often think they need to provide their Social Security number to get services even if it’s not required.”

Elderly woman billed for a vasectomy

Velasquez says that one of the Identity Theft Resource Center’s call centers once fielded a complaint from a Florida woman in her 90s who received a Medicare statement for a vasectomy in California.

The most shocking part is that no one checked on the age, the sex or the location of the patient before approving that claim, says Velasquez.

Patterson says insurance companies, including Medicare, use the “pay-and-chase” model, settling claims first and then later attempting to recoup fraud losses.

“The problem is, this gives medical identity thieves the ability to commit fraud multiple times before anyone even notices,” she says.

How to protect yourself

While it can be tough to protect yourself against a data breach, Weisman says you should safeguard your Social Security number and medical insurance card and ask medical providers how they use your personal information.

You should treat medical bills, prescription drug labels and insurance statements as you would any other sensitive information — and shred them, says Patterson.

“The best way to find out if you’ve had your medical identity stolen is to read your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement from your insurance company” that will accompany each claim, she adds. “If the claim is unfamiliar, call your insurance company immediately.”

Be vigilant

Frost says to guard against fraud by monitoring all medical billing statements and returning any calls from medical billing offices.

“You should periodically check the accuracy of your medical records for things like your blood type, medical conditions and procedures,” she says. “You can request to have your medical records corrected if you find false information.”

And Velasquez has this advice: Sign up for online accounts with your insurance company, prescription drug provider and medical providers, even if you don’t intend to use them. That will prevent someone else from signing up under your name.

Keeping watch over your medical information, credit report, financial statements and insurance statements may not prevent all cases of medical identity theft, but the vigilance can help you notice fraud faster and move quickly to correct it.

Article source: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/medical-identity-theft.aspx

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Chris Brown Is The Victim Of Identity Theft! Find Out How Somebody Tried To Be …

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Poor Taylor Swift, those hackers gonna hack, hack hack…

The Shake It Off singer had her Twitter and Instagram accounts viciously HACKED by an unknown person!

Well, not viciously, but still! Total violation of privacy!

T.Swift’s accounts started posting some strange happenings when she “tweeted” that fans should follow two different users.

Which is totally strange to anyone who follows her account already!

The tweets said:

[Image via Taylor Swift Twitter/Instagram.]

Article source: http://perezhilton.com/2015-01-26-chris-brown-identity-theft-law-jail-legal

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Former USD player sentenced in identity theft scheme

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

VERMILLION | A former University of South Dakota football player has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for his role in an identity theft scheme.

Marquis Butler was sentenced Monday on one count each of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to defraud the federal government. He also was ordered to pay nearly $66,000 in restitution to the IRS and identity theft victims.

Butler was accused of being part of a group that recruited students and others to steal identities and used them to file fraudulent tax returns.

Ten other people, including students and football players, also are facing charges in connection with the scheme that netted more than $421,000 in 2012. – Associated Press

Article source: http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-usd-player-sentenced-in-identity-theft-scheme/article_41abea1a-9c45-5a69-b1e2-1cf13ca04725.html

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