Posts Tagged: ‘identity theft’

Yahoo Users Can Sue Over Data Breach

May 15, 2018 Posted by kingcade

A federal court has recently ruled that a lawsuit regarding Yahoo’s recent data breach, exposing the personal information of its nearly 3 billion users can go forward. The decision was announced on May 11, after U.S. District Judge, Lucy Kohl, rejected a request from Verizon Communications to dismiss many of the claims made against the company for negligence and breach of contract. Verizon Communications purchased Yahoo’s Internet business in June 2017.

The case stems from three different data breaches that occurred between 2013 and 2016. Yahoo has been criticized with how slowly it reacted to the breaches and informed their users. The breaches were not discovered and revealed until after Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s business. Upon discovering this news, Verizon demanded a $4.5 billion cut in the purchase price for the company.

Customers were later informed about the release of confidential information, which increased users’ risks of identity theft. Users were then required to pay for credit freezes and continued monitoring on their credit reports.

Kohl stated that, had customers been informed about the breach sooner, they would have taken measures against identity theft and fraud. By the time the company had informed users of the breaches, many of them had already had their identities stole by hackers who used their personal data to file fraudulent tax returns and make illegal credit card charges.

Initially, the company had said that one billion users were a part of the hack, but it later came out that three billion of the users were affected by the breaches. In fact, the complaint filed by plaintiffs had to be amended in October 2017 after it was revealed that the breach ended up affecting three billion users.

Kohl said the fact the complaint had to be amended to include these additional users highlighted just how serious the issue of security was in the plaintiff’s decision to use Yahoo as an Internet service.

In March 2017, two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers were charged by U.S. prosecutors for crimes connected with the Yahoo breaches. One of the accused hackers, Karim Baratov, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy charges.

If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorneywho can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/yahoo-users-can-sue-over-data-breaches-031318.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-verizon-yahoo-breach/data-breach-victims-can-sue-yahoo-in-the-united-states-judge-idUSKCN1GO1TL

Debt Collection and Imposter Scams #1 Consumer Complaint

March 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Individuals posing as a government agency to collect on a debt topped the nation’s list of consumer complaints in 2016.  These so-called “imposter scams,” where con artists pose as a government agent to get you to hand over your cash surpassed identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

A common impostor scam is the “phony IRS agent,” where scammers contact consumers to claim they have been audited and owe money to the government.  Victims of the scam are told to pay immediately or they can face imprisonment or deportation.

Another common scam involves a “fake computer technician,” in which the scammer claims the victim needs to purchase a security patch or software license.  Of the people who complained about identity theft in 2016, approximately 29 percent said their information was used to commit fraud by filing fake tax returns to confiscate their tax refunds; 32 percent said it was used in credit card fraud.

Here are the Top 10 consumer complaint categories for 2016:

  • Debt collection — 859,090 complaints
  • Impostor scams — 406,578 complaints
  • Identity theft — 399,225 complaints
  • Telephone and mobile services — 292,155 complaints
  • Banks and lenders — 143,987 complaints
  • Prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries — 141,643 complaints
  • Shop-at-home and catalog sales — 109,831 complaints
  • Auto-related complaints — 94,673 complaints
  • Credit bureaus, information furnishers and report users — 49,679 complaints
  • Television and electronic media — 49,546 complaints

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Beware of Identity Theft this Tax Season

January 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The IRS has issued identity theft warnings this tax season. Following the recent data breaches consumers have experienced, taxpayers need to be extra careful with their personal information. According to the IRS, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation and theft related to tax refunds is one the agency’s biggest problems right now.

Below are some tips to keep your personal information safe this tax season and year around!

• Do not give your personal information out to just anyone, make sure it is a trusted individual.

• Do not carry your social security card on you or anything with your social security number on it.

• If you file your taxes electronically, make sure your computer’s security system and virus protection is up to date.

• Never share your personal information through social media or email.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

House Passes Bill to Protect Kids from Identity Theft

April 24, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Last week, the house passed a bill 116-0 that will require the nation’s three consumer-reporting agencies to allow Florida parents to open and freeze their child’s credit record. Doing so would prevent scammers from using children’s personal information or opening fraudulent accounts on their behalf. Such scams are a growing problem in Florida. Recently, a Broward County teacher was convicted of stealing children’s information from their student IDs. The bill, HB493, will protect the identity of every child in the State of Florida. Florida, particularly South Florida, is number one in the nation when it comes to identity theft.

In 2011, nearly 1,800 children’s identities were stolen in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties alone. Since then, the Federal Trade Commission has found that cases of identity theft have more than doubled in South Florida. There have even been cases where infants’ identities have been stolen and their families did not realize it until many years later. Scammers would steal a child’s identity and begin applying for credit cards on their behalf, according to IDChildNow.com. Sen. Nancy Detert has introduced a similar bill to the Senate. If the bill is passed it will be the second bill of this nature in the nation. Maryland adopted a similar law last year. Experts say that the current policies make it extremely easy for scammers to steal children’s identities.

Click here to read more on the House Bill to Protect Kids from Identity Theft.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

“Dirty Dozen” of 2011

March 12, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues a list called the “Dirty Dozen.” The “Dirty Dozen” consists of the twelve most commonly used tax scams and fraudulent tax crimes of the previous year. The IRS urges all taxpayers to use caution, due to this being the most prevalent time these scams are carried out.

Below is a list and short description of each scam.

• Identity Theft is the most common tax scam and due to evolving technology, it is quickly becoming the most complex scam for the IRS to track. Thieves are collecting personal and financial information, then proceeding to file and collect tax refunds. The IRS was able to protect $1.4 billion from being wrongfully issued in 2011, in various identity theft schemes. If a taxpayer is issued a statement that more than one return has been filed, this is a red flag and the taxpayer should contact the IRS immediately.

• Phishing is a scam that is typically carried out by the use of a fictitious e-mail account. The scam artist will create an email address that will trick taxpayers into disclosing their personal and financial information, and then use this information to collect tax refunds in their name. In some cases, the scam will claim to be the IRS or an affiliate in need of personal information. Taxpayers should be aware that the IRS would never initially approach anyone through e-mail. Such e-mails should immediately be reported to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

• Return Preparer Fraud is a commonly used tax scam. Many taxpayers use a preparer to file their tax returns and some are scammed out of their refunds due to return preparer fraud. Two common ways preparer fraud is committed is by “skimming off” the refunds belonging to taxpayers and also some preparers charge inflated fees. Starting in 2012 there is a requirement for any preparer to enter an identification number before filing another persons’ tax return, to try to reduce the potential for fraud.

• Hiding Offshore Income is a way many wealthy Americans have gotten away with tax evasion. Americans hide a large portion of their income in offshore accounts and use mostly wire transfers to access their money. Those who commit tax evasion by hiding income offshore can be charged fines and penalties and can be criminally prosecuted by the federal government. In 2009 due to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, about 30,000 Americans came forward and cleared themselves of their tax evasions.

• “Free Money” scams are typically targeted towards the lower income sector of taxpayers and the elderly. Scam artists approach taxpayers with hopes of free money due to refunds from their social security checks. These individuals are then scammed out of their own money for the services to submit these refunds, when their claims are ultimately rejected.
• Inflated Income and Expenses are another tax scam where taxpayers claim income that was not earned or they inflated the actual amount of income in order to collect a larger sum in their refund. In other cases, taxpayers falsely claim expenses to collect a refund on them.

• False Refund Forms such as a 1099 are typically filed to justify a false refund. Many taxpayers are under the impression that the government has a secret account to issue refunds for U.S. citizens if these forms are filed. This can ultimately result in penalties and criminal prosecution.

• Frivolous Arguments is a type of scheme taxpayers who owe the government large sums of money typically try to use in their court cases. Taxpayers are allowed to contest their tax obligations, but the use of false or unreasonable claims in court can result in cases being thrown out.

• Falsely Claiming Zero Wages is a tax scam used to reduce the amount of taxes the taxpayer owes.

• Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions is another scam where certain organizations claim donations of a non-cash asset at an over-valued price to ultimately collect on it.

• Disguised Corporate Ownership is a scam conducted by the formation of a third party to try and hide the ownership of the corporation. These entities are used to hide assets, income and report false deductions. Many are also used to enable money laundering.

• Misuses of Trusts are a way to evade taxes by promising a reduction of income that would be subject to tax. Some of the uses are legal however many times the IRS has found that many use this to hide assets.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.