February 17, 2015 |
Tax filers, don't worry if you get a phone call, a text, or an e-mail from the Internal Revenue Service. It won't be from the IRS. It will be a scam artist. "We always tell our clients . . . the IRS never e-mails and they never text you and they don't call out of the blue," said Larry Orr, director in the tax department of CBIZ MHM in Plymouth Meeting. "These are scams looking to steal your information. " One client received a phone call supposedly from the IRS "threatening to put him in jail if he didn't pay right away," Orr said.
February 5, 2015 |
A FORMER Philadelphia Police clerk and her husband were arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing three ATVs that cops had confiscated from illegal riders. Sharon Hammitt, 45, and her husband, John, 44, of the Far Northeast, were charged with theft, forgery, misapplication of entrusted property, securing execution of documents by deception, identity theft, unsworn falsification and tampering with public records, according to the District Attorney's Office. Sharon Hammitt had worked since January 1989 as a clerk in the Auto Pound Unit, where she was responsible for keeping records of vehicles brought to the pound and those then sent to auction or salvage yards, the D.A.'s office said.
August 8, 2014 |
THE STATE Attorney General's Office arrested two Philadelphia men, a Montgomery County woman and a New York man yesterday for running a "grandparent scam," in which they allegedly bilked at least $162,600 from 11 senior citizens in eight states. The suspects also are accused of trying to steal $37,325 more by snookering victims into thinking they were paying to help troubled grandchildren, according to the Attorney General's Office. One woman from Texas allegedly was defrauded of $64,900, according to the office.
July 18, 2014 |
Penn Medicine Tuesday announced a data breach involving receipts from Penn Medicine Rittenhouse that were stolen last month from a locked office in Pennsylvania Hospital. Notifications of the theft were sent to 661 patients Monday, said Susan Phillips, a senior vice president and spokeswoman for the health system. She said no arrests have been made. There have been no instances of identity theft related to theft. Phillips said that was a "very low risk. " Many of the receipts were found on hospital grounds.
June 14, 2014 |
A former social worker and three employees of a residential-care facility for the disabled have been charged with selling the identities of children in their care to help others cheat on their taxes - a scheme U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger described Thursday as "truly despicable. " Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing Gebah Kamara, 46, of Sharon Hill, of stealing personal information from several foster children he encountered while working for Catholic Social Services, the charitable wing of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
June 13, 2014 |
A DARBY tax preparer has been charged with stealing the identities of foster children to falsely use their information on tax returns for his own benefit, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday. Momolu Sirleaf, 34, of Wycombe Avenue, owned and operated I.E.S. Tax Services, of Darby. According to the indictment: Sirleaf obtained the names and Social Security numbers of kids in the foster-care system. He used their information to falsely add them as dependents on some of his clients' returns "to generate fraudulent refunds, some in excess of $8,000.
April 23, 2014 |
HER LONG, WAVY brown hair pulled back into a ponytail, a bespectacled Jocelyn Kirsch entered a federal courtroom in Philadelphia yesterday wearing a short-sleeved dark-green prison jumpsuit, her hands cuffed behind her back. The convicted identity thief - one half of the famed duo nicknamed "Bonnie and Clyde" - appeared plain, but still pretty, without makeup. As she sat in the holding area for defendants in the fifth-floor courtroom, the section normally considered the jury box, she smiled at one of her attorneys, Ronald Greenblatt.
April 21, 2014 |
JOCELYN KIRSCH of "Bonnie and Clyde" identity-theft fame is back in Philly. Right now, she's holed up in a prison cell at the Federal Detention Center at 7th and Arch streets in Center City, across from the federal courthouse, where she has a date before a magistrate judge on Monday. The 28-year-old is here because she allegedly violated her probation in her identity-theft case by shoplifting in California, where she was living, and failing to pay part of her restitution in the Philadelphia case.
March 18, 2014 |
As victims of the recent Target card-data breach, we learned the hard way that we live in a post-privacy world. So we asked some security experts how to protect our identities now that this type of theft seems as common as stolen cars and home burglaries. Adam Levin, co-founder and chairman of IDentity Theft 911 in New York City, says most identity theft starts with incoming phone calls or e-mails. If a stranger calls claiming to be from Verizon, Microsoft, jury-duty service or a utility, don't give out personal information.
February 28, 2014
AS MUCH AS you may loathe tax season, there are people who rejoice during this time of year. They see it as prime time for picking people to victimize. Unscrupulous folks know that taxpayers are eager for ways to get a large refund. They love the complexity of the tax code, which gives them the opportunity to trick people into letting their guard down. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service highlights the low-down and dirty by putting out its list of top 12 tax scams. "Scams can be sophisticated and take many different forms," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.