Archive for July, 2017

Wilmington doctor indicted on insurance fraud and identity theft …

Friday, July 28th, 2017

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Transgender military decision; Corporal Ballard memorialized; Todd Frazier’s debut in the Bronx

A Wilmington psychiatrist – a former Delaware Medical Board officer – has been indicted on charges he submitted more than $100,000 in insurance claims over a two-year period for visits that did not occur.

To facilitate this fraud, Dr. Karl McIntosh used his patients’ personal identifying information without their consent, according to the state Department of Insurance’s fraud unit. At least four of the 11 people whose identities were stolen by 53-year-old McIntosh were minors, court documents show. 

McIntosh was indicted on Monday by a New Castle County grand jury on charges of health care fraud, insurance fraud, theft and 11 counts of identity theft. He was arrested on Tuesday but released after posting $50,000 bail. 

McIntosh, who could not be reached for comment on Thursday, was ordered to surrender his passport and not leave the state as a condition of bail, according to the Insurance Department.

His medical license remained active, and a petition to suspend it had not been made as of Thursday, according to the Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation. 

STORY: Woman, teen shot in Wilmington’s Ninth Ward neighborhood

STORY: Man indicted in downtown Wilmington killing earlier this year

McIntosh’s 14-count indictment culminates a yearlong investigation by the Insurance Department’s fraud prevention unit and state prosecutors. The indictment comes a month after the Insurance Department ran ads to let people know more about its fraud unit. 

“The fraud unit of the Department of Insurance takes these cases seriously and actively investigates all reported cases of fraud,” Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro said in a statement. “We work closely with our partners at the Department of Justice to see these cases through, protecting consumers.

“A case such as this brings to light that insurance fraud costs everyone.”

McIntosh served as president of the Delaware Board of Medicine from 2006 to 2008. He also was the board’s vice president in 2005 and its secretary treasurer in 2004. 

When a consumer advocacy organization rated Delaware’s board of medical practice among the worst in the nation at disciplining doctors, McIntosh defended the board’s practices.

“The Delaware Board of Medical Practice really takes a very serious stance on public protection as our primary role,” McIntosh told The News Journal in 2004. “It’s not to protect doctors or anyone else but citizens.”

Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, eparra@delawareonline.com or Twitter @eparra3.

 

 

Article source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/07/27/wilmington-delware-doctor-indicted-insurance-fraud-and-identity-theft/516118001/

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Ways to protect your parents from identity theft

Friday, July 28th, 2017



Each year nearly 7 million people in the United States become victims of identity theft. In Michigan, the number of people affected by credit card, telephone, cell phone and utility fraud is even greater, according to Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith’s website.

Most victims in Michigan are more than 40 years old, and victims can be living or deceased. Elderly people are especially prone to theft, which is why it is important to protect your parents from identity theft.

Here are nine steps you can take to protect your parents from becoming identity theft victims:

1. Check to see what your parent carries around. Many older people hold their lives in their pockets or purses for a quick trip to the store. But the theft of a wallet or pocketbook can drain hours of time contacting credit card companies, government agencies and banks.

Set up your mother or father with a small wallet or purse containing only what might be needed for brief outings: home and car keys; a driver’s license; one credit card, emergency contact information and maybe a health insurance card.

2. Guard your parent’s personal information. A thief who has someone’s name, address, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name or personal information commonly used to answer security questions can run rampant with them. Under no circumstances should your mother or father give this information out to someone unknown.

Older people are especially vulnerable to phone scams, in which a caller masquerades as a fundraiser or bill collector and coaxes the victim into turning over credit card information. These con artists can be persuasive, so remind your parent never to give personal information to a caller he or she doesn’t know very well. And strongly explain to never give out credit card numbers over the phone unless your parent initiates the call.

If your mom or dad wants to donate to a charity, either they or you should look up the address on the organization’s website and your parent can send a check.

3. Monitor your parent’s bank and credit card statements. It’s a good idea to check account activity at least once a quarter. Look for charges from unfamiliar vendors and locations, and watch for recurring subscription fees, like the ones Peter found in his father’s records.

Your parent won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges, but the faster these problems are reported, the less damage the thief can do.

4. If your parent spends time online, be sure the computer has the latest browser version and that automatic updates are enabled. Also, you should turn off JavaScript and Adobe Flash; they are rarely needed and have become a primary attack vector for malware.

5. Explain the potential danger of the “remember my password” browser feature. Most browsers now have that feature, but it’s best not to use it on financial services sites and ones with health care records. A secure password manager with strong encryption is a better bet.

6. If your parent emails, explain how to practice “safe email.” Phishing attacks work by tricking recipients into believing that messages come from trusted sources when the actual intent is to capture personal information. Clicking on links from unknown senders is an invitation to malware and identity theft.

Show your mother or father how to determine the actual sender of a message by looking at the email address, rather than the name in the “from:” field. For instance, a message from Google isn’t real unless the email address ends in “google.com.” Instruct your parent never to send a password, credit card number or any other sensitive information via email. Instead, it’s best to type in the name of the trusted website and login.

7. Explain the danger of “free” email offers. Those emails congratulating the recipient for winning a drawing or offering a free vacation? At best, these are bait-and-switch tactics. Most are just scams. Make sure your parent knows to never respond to them.

8. Tell your mother or father to be careful about sharing information on social networks. Advise your parent against sharing anything in a profile that could be used against them by a crook, including a telephone number, address and even an alma mater a common basis for security challenge questions).

If your mom or dad is a frequent social network user, check his or her privacy settings. You’ll want to be sure no one outside of the immediate circle of friends or family can see any personal information.

9. Help your parent opt out of unnecessary stuff. Does anyone really like unsolicited offers of credit cards or insurance?You can dramatically reduce the number of telemarketing calls your mother or father gets by signing up at Nomorobo.com. It won’t stop all calls, but it will cut down on their annoyance.

If you believe you or your parents have become a victim of identity theft or have any information involving an identity theft crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department at phone number, 586-469-5151.

READ MORE: Check out NextAvenue.org.

Debra Kaszubski, Vitality Special Writer, contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/lifestyle/20170727/ways-to-protect-your-parents-from-identity-theft

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How to guard against identity theft and bank fraud

Friday, July 28th, 2017

PhotoReports of data breaches involving credit card networks at stores and hotels seem to be increasing. So maybe it’s not surprising that consumers are worrying more about it happening to them, and what it might mean.

FICO, an analytics software company, reports that its latest research shows 44% of consumers rank identity theft and bank fraud as their top concern. That’s more than double the percentage who said they worried about a terrorist attack.

Eighty-six percent of consumers were concerned about the theft of their Social Security number, followed by 76% who worry about their bank account information being stolen.

“Human beings hate to lose,” said Bob Shiflet, vice president of FICO’s fraud business line. “The survey confirms the psychology of loss aversion, especially when it comes to money and the likelihood of an event happening to us. The loss of your personal information or money from your account cuts deep, it is a violation, and people now know it’s much more likely to happen to them.”

Big jump in identity theft

Consumers worry about these things for good reason. A report by Javelin Strategy Research found a record number of consumers — 15.4 million — were hit with some form of identity fraud in 2016.

Fortunately, there are some ways to protect yourself. When it comes to credit cards, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises consumers to make a record of all credit card account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud. Keep that list handy in case a card is lost or stolen, or you notice an unauthorized charge on the account.

This might sound obvious, but the FTC says you shouldn’t lend your card to anyone, even your kids. Shred all statements and bills that have your account information.

Careful with cards

The biggest increase in credit card fraud last year came from cases where a charge was made when the card was not physically present — charges made online or not on the phone. You should make online purchases only from trusted sites and never give your card information to anyone who calls you, unsolicited, to sell you something.

Identity theft can not only lead to financial loss, it can be very expensive and time consuming to resolve. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) urges consumers to be extremely careful with personally identifiable information, such as Social Security number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name.

“Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online and asks for your personal information,” FDIC warns on its website. “It doesn’t matter how legitimate the e-mail or website may look. Only open e-mails that look like they are from people or organizations you know, and even then, be cautious if they look questionable. Be especially wary of fraudulent e-mails or websites that have typos or other obvious mistakes.”

Article source: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/how-to-guard-against-identity-theft-and-bank-fraud-072717.html

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NY trio accused of identity theft in Mahwah

Friday, July 28th, 2017

MAHWAH — Three New York men were accused of identity theft this week after they were caught with fake checks and forgery equipment, according to police.

Around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, off-duty police officer David Vega observed a car driving erratically on Route 287 North and Route 17 South. Vega stopped the vehicle and identified himself as a police officer, Police Chief James Batelli said in a release.

The occupants were later identified as Dane Duncan of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Christian Riera of Springfield Gardens, N.Y.

A search of the vehicle produced identifications of individuals not present, checks printed using fraudulently-obtained companies and account numbers, 170 blank, watermarked check papers, and $1,180 in cash. Riera attempted to destroy evidence by tearing up checks and throwing them in the gas station garbage, Batelli said.

The pair were also found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Batelli said.

Police learned the individuals were staying at the Mahwah Courtyard Marriot, where they found Darren Thomas of Brooklyn, N.Y. A search of the unit produced electronic devices and a printer used to manufacture fraudulent checks. An additional $4,800 was seized, police said.

Duncan, 20, was charged with trafficking in personal identifying information, possession of forgery devices, forgery, wrongfully obtaining and using identity of another, credit card theft, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Riera, 29, was charged with trafficking in personal identifying information, possession of forgery devices,  forgery, wrongfully obtaining and using identity of another, hindering own apprehension by destruction of evidence, credit card theft, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thomas, 21, was charged with trafficking in personal identifying information, possession of forgery devices, forgery, wrongfully obtaining and using identity of another, and credit card theft.

Batelli said the investigation is ongoing to identify the victims, businesses and banks that were defrauded.

Email: stoltz@northjersey.com

Article source: http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/mahwah/2017/07/27/mahwah-off-duty-officer-arrests-three-identity-theft-charges/514066001/

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Former Oregon lineman charged with identity theft

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Police arrested a former University of Oregon football player accused of using a customer’s debit card while working at a bank.

The Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/2uBQ06B ) Jonathan Kenion was arrested Tuesday on a warrant issued in April. He’s charged with identity theft.

An online roster shows the defensive lineman played for the Ducks as a redshirt freshman during the 2014 season.

An arrest warrant affidavit written by a UO police officer says the customer told investigators he had turned in his old debit card to a bank employee after activating a new card, and the employee said he would destroy the old card. The affidavit states the card never was deactivated or destroyed.

The card was instead used to withdraw money at ATMs in Eugene.

Article source: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/sports/article163962272.html

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Public safety: Woman reports identity theft – Marshfield News

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Marshfield police

» At 3:46 p.m. Tuesday, a Marshfield woman reported a possible identity theft. 

» On Wednesday, police arrested a 44-year-old Greenwood man in the 600 block of Saint Joseph Avenue on a Clark County warrant. When the man couldn’t pay the $175.30, he was taken to the Clark County line and turned over to a Clark County deputy. 

Marshfield fire, ambulance

» Marshfield ambulances responded to six medical emergencies Tuesday. 

RELATED: Public safety: Someone breaks into storage units

RELATED: Public safety: Two arrested for suspected drunken driving

Wood County

» At 9:32 a.m. Tuesday, a Cameron man reported someone cut transmission lines on a vehicle in the 10400 block of South Central Avenue, Cameron. 

» At 1:12 p.m. Tuesday, a caller reported a man had been “window peeking” on Wilhorn Road, Nekoosa. 

» At 1:59 p.m. Tuesday, a caller purported two kids playing in the storm drain at the corner of Cedar Street and Wood Avenue, Nekoosa 

» At 4:24 p.m. Tuesday, a caller reported he fell asleep and put his vehicle in the trees in the 4400 block of Wood County D, Seneca. 

» At 5:49 p.m. Tuesday, a town of Marshfield man reported neighbors were in his yard. 

» At 6:06 p.m. Tuesday, a caller reported someone slashed a tire in the 5800 block of Ponderosa Circle, Grand Rapids. 

» At 6:36 p.m. Tuesday, a Grand Rapids woman reported her ex-boyfriend broke into her home through a basement window, took some of her child’s toys and trashed the house. 

» At 8:04 p.m. Tuesday, the Nekoosa Fire Department responded to a report of a car on a trailer on fire in the 10000 block of Wood County Z, Saratoga. 

» At 8:55 p.m. Tuesday, a Saratoga woman reported some neighborhood kids shot BB guns at a trailer in the 300 block of Wakely Road and broke a window in the trailer. Police talked to the kids’ parents and they will pay for the window. 

» At 9:16 p.m. Tuesday, a caller reported someone stole a purse from a vehicle parked near the intersection of Market Street and Point Basse Avenue, Nekoosa. 

» At 10:47 p.m. Tuesday, a Grand Rapids man reported a noise that sounded like a jet engine going on for two hours from the direction of Wisconsin Rapids. An officer stepped outside and couldn’t hear any noise. 

Article source: http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/story/news/2017/07/26/public-safety-woman-reports-identity-theft/512442001/

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Former University of Oregon Ducks football player arrested, accused of identity theft – The Register

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

A former University of Ore­gon football player has been arrested on charges of identity theft after allegedly using a customer’s debit card while working at U.S. Bank.

Jonathan Kenion, who played as a redshirt freshman for the Ducks in 2014, was arrested Tuesday on an arrest warrant issued in April.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit written by UO police officer Anthony Button, it appears that additional charges of second-degree identity theft, second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and fraudulent use of a credit card might be pending.

Kenion first was arrested in December after a customer at U.S. Bank reported to police that fraudulent cash withdrawals had been made with his old debit card.

The customer told police that he had turned in his old debit card to a bank employee Nov. 16 after activating a new card, and the employee said he would destroy the old card. The affidavit states the card never was de­activated or destroyed.

Instead, Kenion allegedly signed onto the victim’s online account the following day and reset the debit card’s PIN. He then used the card at various ATMs in Eugene to withdraw more than $900 in two days from both the customer’s checking and savings accounts, according to the affidavit.

Kenion denied any wrongdoing when police interviewed him, according to the affidavit, telling the police officer that he had taken the victim’s debit card by mistake, thinking it was his own.

The affidavit states that the victim’s debit card and Kenion’s debit card “looked nothing alike in terms of background colors and designs.”

Both identity theft charges are felonies.

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Article source: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35802741-75/former-university-of-oregon-ducks-football-player-arrested-accused-of-identity-theft.html.csp

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New Yorker charged with identity theft in Westport – Connecticut Post

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

  • Steven Digsby, 55, of North Babylon, New York, was charged with third-degree identity theft, forth-degree criminal attempt at larceny, criminal impersonation, cred card theft and unlawful reproduction of a credit card in Westport, police said. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport Police Department / Contributed Photo / Connecticut Post Contributed

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WESTPORT — Police said a New Yorker was charged with a series of identity theft-related charges in Westport.

Steven Digsby, 55, of North Babylon, New York, was charged with third-degree identity theft, forth-degree criminal attempt at larceny, criminal impersonation, cred card theft and unlawful reproduction of a credit card, police said.

Police responded to a call at the Bank of America on Post Road East in Westport for a report that a man attempted to cash a fraudulent check around 1:30 p.m. on July 19.


The bank teller that called police about the incident told police that Digsby arrived at the bank around 11:45 a.m. and attempted to cash a check made out to someone else. Digsby presented a Pennsylvania license with the victim’s name, but his photo, the teller told police.

The teller said while processing the transaction, they pulled up the account profile for the name Digsby provided and noticed a different date of birth from the one on the license Digsby presented. Police said there was also a fraud alert on the account.

Police said the teller refused to process the transaction and Digsby left. Shortly after, another bank customer turned in a wallet found inside the bank.

The wallet, police said, belonged to Digsby and contained a New York driver’s license. Digsby returned to the bank about an hour after he left and asked the teller if the wallet had been located, police said.

The teller told him it had not been found and another bank employee called police. The suspect left the bank prior to police arrival, employees told police.

But police were informed the suspect was last seen driving a Volvo with New York plates westbound on Post Road East. The car was located by police in the area of Post Road East and Morningside Drive.

Police said Digsby was detained while the situation was investigated further.

The officers found an illegally manufactured credit card in Digsby’s wallet. And police said they determined that he assumed a legitimate Bank of America account holder’s identity in order to cash the fraudulent check.

Digsby was released from custody on a $10,000 bond, police said, and he was given a court date for July 28.

Article source: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/New-Yorker-charged-with-identity-theft-in-Westport-11410365.php

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Savannah resident convicted for bank fraud, aggravated identity theft – WSAV

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Following a two-day trial before U. S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, a federal jury convicted Savannah resident Maynard Sanders, 33, of 15 counts of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting theft by a bank employee. The conviction was handed down on July 25.

Sanders’ convictions came on the heels of a one-day trial before Senior U. S. District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr. during which a different federal jury found Sanders guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the evidence presented at the trials, Sanders befriended two former Wells Fargo bank tellers in late 2015, and convinced both of them to help him obtain and use other people’s identities in order to steal cash from Wells Fargo bank accounts.

Text messages recovered from Sanders’ cell phone revealed that Sanders intentionally targeted elderly customers, including an 86-year-old widow who testified against Sanders at the July trial.

Between December 2015 and February 2016, Sanders caused his accomplices to withdraw thousands of dollars from compromised accounts and to provide him with most or all of the embezzled funds.  Both accomplices have pled guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentence.

When Sanders was arrested on federal fraud charges, he was in possession of a loaded semi-automatic pistol.  Due to his previous convictions for theft, fraud, and unlawful possession of a firearm dating back to 2002, Sanders was prohibited under federal law from possessing guns or ammunition.

On the firearms charge, Sanders faces a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.  Additionally, Sanders may be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud and aiding and abetting theft by a bank employee.  Sanders’ commission of aggravated identity theft will add between 2 and 10 years of imprisonment onto his total sentence.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Acting United States Attorney James D. Durham stated, “For over a decade, Maynard Sanders preyed upon the hardworking citizens of this community and embraced deception and manipulation as his stock-in-trade.  Despite several stints in prison, he continued to hatch fraudulent schemes, and he persisted in carrying weapons that he had no right to possess.  This United States Attorney’s Office will ensure that Sanders and other career criminals like him will be held accountable for their misdeeds.”

“Technology has forever changed the way we do business, making every day financial transactions a prime target for fraud,” said U. S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Glen Kessler.  “Customers are always urged to monitor their bank accounts and credit cards closely for fraudulent transactions and to use automated banking alerts available at most financial institutions.  The Secret Service, in conjunction with its many law enforcement partners, continues to successfully combat these crimes by adapting our investigative methodologies and educating the public.”

The charges against Sanders and his accomplices resulted from a Secret Service investigation.  That investigation is ongoing, and additional arrests are expected.  Various law enforcement agencies, including ATF, U. S. Marshals Service, Savannah State University Police Department, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Armstrong State University Police Department Cyber Forensics Division, and the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, provided assistance.

 

Article source: http://wsav.com/2017/07/26/savannah-resident-convicted-for-bank-fraud-aggravated-identity-theft/

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IRS sees big drop in identity theft, stolen tax refunds

Thursday, July 27th, 2017




WASHINGTON — The IRS is seeing a big drop in the number of identity theft victims after the agency teamed up with tax preparers to fight the problem, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday.

The number of victims was nearly cut in half last year, compared to the previous year. At the same time, he said, more businesses are being targeted.

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In 2015, thieves stole the identities of nearly 700,000 victims. Last year, the number dropped to 377,000.

Koskinen said the IRS identified 107,000 identity theft victims in the first five months of this year.

Thieves use stolen identities to try to obtain fraudulent tax refunds. They get the refunds by obtaining private information about victims — Social Security numbers, birth dates, and income data — and using it to file fraudulent tax returns in their name.

Victims then have to go through a sometimes lengthy process to get their legitimate tax refund.

The IRS is a popular target for sophisticated identity thieves because the agency issues more than $300 billion in tax refunds each year. Several years ago, the IRS started teaming up with the major tax preparers to crack down on the problem.

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The IRS has updated its computer filters to identify more fraudulent tax returns while tax preparers have stepped up their security.

‘‘They are having more trouble getting past our security protections in our tax processing systems, so they are increasingly taking aim at the places where large amounts of taxpayer data reside,’’ Koskinen said.

‘‘That means trying to access data belonging to tax return preparers and other tax professionals, as well as the payroll community, small employers and human resources departments,’’ Koskinen said.

One ploy involves thieves e-mailing workers in the payroll department of a large employer, masquerading as a supervisor seeking W-2 information about other workers.

The payroll worker thinks they are e-mailing the information to the company CEO, but ‘‘instead of going to the CEO it goes to someone in Belarus,’’ Koskinen said.

Article source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/07/25/irs-sees-big-drop-identity-theft-stolen-tax-refunds/daM2kdsxcaKMFSzwNBJVLL/story.html

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