Identity thieves are devious. Most people think that if you are wealthy and have a lot to lose, then you are more likely to be targeted. (The truth of the matter is that identity thieves are non-discriminatory. They’ll take advantage of anyone’s personal information that they can get their hands on.) An article published on MSNewsNow.com reveals how one woman accomplished a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme by targeting prisoners.
The story states that the 28-year-old woman stole the names and Social Security numbers of prisoners located in a Mississippi correctional facility. (She probably knew someone on the inside who assisted her with the identity theft.) The fraudster used that personal identification information to file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claiming refunds for the imprisoned taxpayers. The IRS then issued refunds that were electronically deposited into multiple bank accounts controlled by the fraudster and her co-conspirators.
The criminal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and wire fraud. She was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison plus three years of supervised release. The woman is also required to pay nearly $63,000 in restitution.
It is true that no one is safe from identity fraud these days. While our personal information can be stolen in a variety of ways through online transactions, credit card purchases or even through medical records, you usually don’t think that prisoners would be on an identity thief’s radar. This story proves that no one is safe. This should serve as a wake-up call to everyone who has not taken steps to protect their identity.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Sentenced for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud,” written by Mary Grace Eppes and published by MSNewsNow.com on September 23, 2014.
28-year-old S’ade Tyler of Jackson was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to defraud the United States and wire fraud.
She was ordered to pay restitution to the U.S. government in the amount of $62,946.39.