Keep Your Friends Close and Your W-2s Closer, Beware of Tax Identity Theft

If Melissa McCarthy was behind every identity theft, it might not be so terrifying. Unfortunately, that is likely not the case (although, it has not been confirmed).

melissa-mccarthyIdentity thieves are getting more sophisticated by the day. They used to steal your credit card number to buy a video game and grab a slice at the food court, but now they’re stealing identities to file tax returns and collect refunds.

The IRS has certainly improved its defense against phony refund requests—last year, as of March 5, 2016, the IRS identified 42,148 fraudulent tax returns involving identity theft, and identified 20,224 prisoner tax returns for screening, with $227 million claimed in fraudulent funds.[1] But these are simply the cases the agency is aware of, and there are likely many more. The IRS continues to expand its efforts to detect tax refund fraud.

Read more about fraudulent tax returns over on the Avalon blog…


Investigating Cybercrime

Deb Radcliff

September 01, 2010

The real-life tales of how authorities hunted down some of the nation’s most dangerous digital crooks, as reported by Deb Radcliff.

For the most part, cybercrime cases turn out to be much larger than they first appear. This was the case 10 years ago when a lone Honolulu police detective tracked a thief to more than 100 stolen identities spanning many states. It is true as well today, for example when the New York State Attorney General’s (AG) office tracked a spammer that led to a multimillion dollar securities fraud case.

What’s different between now and a decade ago is there is exponentially more cybercrime – and more types of cybercrime – requiring investigations.

Over the past five years, investigators reported a 69 percent increase in computer devices being used to directly perpetrate crime, according to a 2010 survey by the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) that drew 429 respondents from its 3,100 members.

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