In his prepared testimony before the
“This scam has cost thousands of taxpayers millions of dollars, but to my knowledge, this may be the most heartbreaking result,” said Camus. “TIGTA continues to work with the
Camus noted that as of
“The scam has claimed victims in almost every state in the country,” Camus noted. “For example, taxpayers in
“The criminals do not discriminate,” said Camus. “They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds. In fact, I myself received one of these calls on my home telephone on a Saturday, and you may also have received a call or know of a family member or constituent who has received one as well.”
TIGTA believes the calls are being placed from multiple sources, and the scam is now the subject of an ongoing multi-agency investigation.
“I can tell you it is a matter of high priority for law enforcement,” said Camus. “As I told the individual who called me on my home phone, ‘Your day will come.’ In the meantime, we are investigating some of the individuals who process the money, and most recently we arrested two individuals associated with this type of scam. The two individuals were arrested and prosecuted for their role in converting the prepaid money cards. When interviewed, one of the defendants estimated she had used prepaid debit cards to purchase approximately
“Every day, I hear stories from our most vulnerable citizens about a wide variety of scams and frauds,” she said. “To an unassuming Oregonian, these scams can be threatening, and quite frankly, scary.
While fraudulent behavior, imposter phone calls and unofficial mail solicitations have always been a part of a scammer’s repertoire, today’s scammers use new tactics. Lately, my conversations with Oregonians have focused almost exclusively on the
She noted that the scammers typically tell victims over the phone that they owe money to the
“In many cases, the caller becomes aggressive and insulting,” Klem added. “For a vulnerable Oregonian, this phone call can be devastating. In 2014, the
“Taxpayers must be more aware of the risks and better protected from attack,” he said in his opening statement. “And these criminals must be found and brought to justice.”
In addition to increased cooperation between tax authorities, Wyden called for higher standards for paid tax preparers, many of whom don’t have to meet any standards for competence, he pointed out. He contended that some tax preparers simply botch their customer’s tax filings, while others purposely claim an inflated refund without the taxpayer’s knowledge and pocket the difference. At the end of tax season they disappear with no accountability for victims.
Earlier this year, Wyden and Senator
To combat scammers and identity thieves,
He described the Utah State Tax Commission’s experiences with suspicious tax filings. “We found third-party filing services often lack the front-end security measures necessary to protect their users in this cyber world,” he said. “At a minimum, these services should install multi-factor authentication to assure that a person filing a tax return is indeed the person identified on the return,” said Valentine.
“Quality firewalls and other data protections are a given, but since we are uncertain at this time of how the prior return information was obtained, it is a careful company, concerned about their product and its customers, that will invest the funds necessary to protect their data from cyber thieves.”
|Copyright:||(c) 2015 Financial Planning. All rights Reserved.|
|Source:||Source Media, Inc.|