ENTRIES TAGGED "identity theft"

Tax season + your identity = bucket loads of easy money for fraudsters

Take control of your identity and make sure your electronic footprint works for you.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article discussing the explosion of tax-identity theft, which has ballooned to 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008. The Wall Street Journal mentioned that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds totaling in excess of $5.2 billion.

What is the cause of this? Taxpayers now have the option to file their taxes online and receive their refunds directly deposited into bank accounts, and this tax filing method creates all kinds of opportunities for electronic fraud.

How does this affect you? Fraudsters who have certain pieces of your data can file a tax return under your identity and receive your refund. Fraudsters look for “at-risk” identities that they can use in scale to scam refunds out of the IRS. “At risk” identities include deceased identities, identities of minors, and legitimate citizens. Fraudsters only need a valid name and social security number combination. How much time, effort and money do you think it would take you to convince the IRS that a fraudster stole your identity, filed your taxes and received your refund? Even though this trend is on the rise and the government has seen it, the onus would still be on you, to prove that you were defrauded.

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Join me for the Strata Online Conference on data warfare on January 22nd

Learn more about potential attack vectors and how to defend against them

Jeez, the days are flying by,” I muttered to myself the other day. The next Strata Online Conference on data warfare is just around the corner. I’ve been excited about this event for some time. How could I not be excited? There will be discussions on using data for evil, hacking cybersecurity, crowdsourcing identity theft, black hat data science, and more.

As I have referred to before, I just love thought provoking and candid discussions.

I first heard about the event when Kathy YuAlistair Croll, and I met at the SF Ferry Building to talk about Strata over breakfast. I’m not a morning person. It takes a few moments for the caffeine to take effect. Alistair is the opposite. I don’t know if Alistair had his dose of caffeine earlier that day or if he just generates his own energy. Whatever it is, it enables him to chair Strata, run his own business, keep up with his precocious two-year-old daughter, and co-author the forthcoming Lean Analytics. Yet, that morning, I was half-tuning Alistair out while I was sipping on my coffee and taking a picture of my crispy caramelized waffle. Yes, I’m that person. But when Alistair started talking about data warfare, he had my full attention. As we rely more upon data, we become more vulnerable to various attacks. It is important for us to learn more about what the potential attack vectors could be and how to defend against them. The speakers at the upcoming Strata Online Conference on data warfare will get us all thinking about this.

The speakers and the topics of their sessions include: Read more…

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