Identity Theft

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court To Resolve Circuit Split Over Bank Fraud Statute

On Monday April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Shaw, a closely watched case out of the Ninth Circuit addressing the bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344. That statute has two subsections,...more

7th Circuit Court of Appeals finds Article III Standing for P.F. Chang’s Plaintiffs

On April 14, 2016, the Court of Appeals for 7th Circuit reinstated plaintiffs’ action against P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain that arose out of the well-reported breach of payment card information. The action was previously...more

Seventh Circuit Allows Data Breach Suit To Proceed Against P.F. Chang’s

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling and held that customers suing P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. did have standing to sue for...more

7th Circuit Revives P.F. Chang’s Data Breach Class Action Suit

Last week, the Seventh Circuit revived a data breach class action against P.F. Chang’s restaurant in an important opinion that continues a plaintiff-friendly trend that began with the court’s opinion in the Neiman Marcus case...more

Sony settles employees’ class action suit for up to $8M

The Sony data breach in 2014 was one of the most significant breaches experienced and was a first on many fronts. It was alleged to have been caused by North Korean hackers (calling themselves Guardians of Peace) seeking to...more

As Tax Day Approaches, Justice Department and IRS Increase Intensity of Public Warnings

It is well-known that the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service increase the frequency and intensity of their press releases announcing tax charges as “Tax Day” approaches (which is April 18 this year), so as to...more

Phishing Season Opens for 2016 Tax Filings – Beware of “W-2 Phishing Scams”

Tax season brings many headaches, but none as miserable as sophisticated scammer efforts to steal employee W-2 information. Using social engineering and modest technological tools, a “spear phishing” attack seeks to trick...more

Privacy Tip #28 – What do you do if you are a victim of IRS tax fraud?

It’s tax season. The dreaded April 15 federal tax filing deadline is looming. You try to be diligent, and you file your tax return early, hoping to get an early refund. But when you try to e-file your return, it gets rejected...more

Keeping your Tax Forms out of the Phishing Net

It's tax filing season, but did you know that it is also phishing season? Tax phishing scams abound at this time of year, and each year they grow more sophisticated. Historically, these scams were aimed at individuals, but...more

How Employers Can Help Prevent W-2's From Being Breached and Their Employees From Becoming Victims of ID Theft

The Internal Revenue Service issued an alert about an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees. The IRS has learned this scheme – part of...more

Privacy Tip #27 – Complying with the new Rhode Island data security law

As we mentioned before, Rhode Island amended its Identity Theft Protection Act on June 30, 2015, which will become effective on June 26, 2016. Now is the time to think about and put processes in place for compliance with the...more

Cyber prosecutions update

The feds have been busy on the cyber prosecutions front. First, on March 18, 2016, the FBI announced that a multi-agency collaborative effort blew up an identity theft ring whose leader was an inmate in a Georgia prison. The...more

HR Departments Beware: Major Tax Season Phishing Scheme Claims Multiple Victims

Another new phishing scheme has tricked numerous employers into disclosing highly sensitive, employee information. In the wake of tax season, spoofing emails were sent to payroll and human resource personnel at various...more

Gavel to Gavel: Tax-refund fraud – a growing problem

As tax season is now upon us, taxpayers should know that tax-refund fraud is increasingly occurring. This kind of fraud happens when someone uses a stolen Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return and obtain...more

Beware of the CEO Email Request Phishing Scam: A Different Form of March Madness

Not only is it “March Madness” time, it is also prime tax return filing time. That means that the email scammers are out in full force as well. In the last 10 days, we have seen a marked uptick in what are called...more

FDIC Publishes Special Edition of Quarterly Consumer News: A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity

On March 8, the FDIC published a special edition of its Quarterly Consumer News entitled, “A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity.” The guide provides consumers with, among other things, (i) safety tips for online banking;...more

IRS Warns of “Surge” in Tax Season Phishing Scams

Tax season ‘tis the season to be phishing, according to the IRS. The IRS has issued a warning to payroll and human resources professionals about a “surge” in phishing emails seen this year. One of the preferred tactics of...more

Don’t Get Phished! Hackers Pose as CEOs to Steal Tax Information from HR and Payroll Professionals at Healthcare Organizations

Every tax season is plagued with scams to defraud individuals and companies for money from tax returns. However, this year has started off with a bang and this means that the healthcare industry has another reason to worry....more

Massachusetts AG Announces New Consumer Advocacy and Response Division

On March 3, Massachusetts AG Healey announced a new Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) intended to protect Massachusetts consumers from alleged fraud, unfair business practices, and consumer abuse. The CARD staff...more

FTC Issues Summary of Consumer Complaints for 2015

On March 1, the FTC released a copy of its Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, which summarizes consumer complaints reported to the agency between January 2015 and December 2015. The report, which is published annually and...more

This week is National Consumer Protection Week: know your consumer rights

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in collaboration with over 100 governmental, not for profit and private entities, is spearheading National Consumer Protection week, March 6-12, in an effort to educate consumers about...more

IRS (Temporarily?) Halts IPPIN Application Process

I have previously written about the IPPIN program that the IRS offers many taxpayers as a way to prevent tax-related identity fraud. Unfortunately, the IRS has halted the application process for now. On its website,...more

Privacy Tip #25 – This week is National Consumer Protection Week: know your consumer rights

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in collaboration with over 100 governmental, not for profit and private entities, is spearheading National Consumer Protection week, March 6-12, in an effort to educate consumers about...more

FTC Gets 3 Million Consumer Complaints in 2015

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 3 million consumer complaints in 2015 with debt collection topping the list, according to its newly released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The annual report, which...more

IRS approved tax preparers fail to protect consumers’ privacy and IRS increases the number of individuals affected by filing of...

In a report of an audit of 13 IRS approved tax filing firms, Online Trust Alliance found that six of the 13 firms do not provide adequate security against cyberintrusions. The firms, all members of the IRS’s Free File...more

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