Wednesday, August 6, 2014

$10M ID Theft, Tax Fraud by Employee of Welfare Department

An employee of a public assistance department stole over 400 identities of the agency's clients. Federal investigators say the suspect was part of a $10 million identity theft and tax fraud scheme.

The US Attorney's office asked the court not to allow him to return to work so that he will not have "access to the computer system which contains the personal identity information which he appears to have accessed as part of the charged conspiracy in this case."

"[the suspect] is one of six indicted on charges they used thousands of stolen identities to obtain tax refunds and open bank accounts into which to deposit the refunds."
- Erie Times News
The investigation by the FBI and the IRS' criminal investigations unit remains ongoing and that the losses are expected to reach tens of millions of dollars, particularly once the investigation of the fraudulent credit card activity is complete.

As is often the case these identity thefts were discovered by a third party, not the organization holding the personally identifiable information (PII). Organizations seeking to proactively detect identity theft, rather than learn about it from others, can utilize low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics services.

Download a white paper on identity theft detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Erie feds: IDs stolen from NYC welfare records> - www.DataBreaches.net, 08/05/2014

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