Wednesday, April 25, 2007


KnightsBridge Castle participated in the California Governors Identity Theft Summit on April 11, 2007 and once again we had the opportunity to view a widely divergent set of statistics concerning the growth of Identity Theft crimes in the US.

In the last two years, federal agencies such as the FTC and commercial enterprises such as the credit card companies have painted a picture a crime in decline citing approximately 7 million incidents. Both the FTC and the credit card firms have been somewhat self congratulatory about the reports they have issued or sponsored indicating a decline in the crime. However this rosy picture was somewhat tarnished when leading a leading market research company, Gartner Research, contradicted these reports recently and indicated that in the same period identity theft crimes had grown by 50% and is now exceeded 10,000,000 incidents per year.

Rena Mears, Partner in the auditing firm of Deloitte & Touche was the keynote speaker at the Governors conference and in her remarks she indicated that Deloitte’s estimate of identity theft crimes for this period was in excess of 15,000,000 victims in 12 months. In addition she commented that the financial impact of identity theft crimes had doubled in the pas 12 months. In other words the amount of money stolen or defrauded had increased significantly. She also noted that victim recovery (the ability to recover the financial loss – but not the loss of time and effort) had dropped from 87% in 2005 to 61% in 2006.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


KnightsBridge Castle staff was interviewed a second time last week by NBC television about IRS Tax Frauds. The program will be aired tonight on the Bay Area NBC affiliate channel 11.

We offer here on our blog the critical issues discussed during the interview.


Identity Theft Frauds which result in IRS Tax fraud are the most common type of Identity Theft – not credit card fraud

33% of Identity Theft involves hijacking a Social Security Number (SSN) for purposes of reporting illegal income, fore example:

Employment fraud, and false employment
Money laundering transactions, DMV fraud, Medical Benefits Fraud

The financial exposure of IRS Tax frauds are real – there is no policy of forbearance or quick resolution to these frauds – they are painful and expensive to unwind,

Two Common IRS Frauds

9095 Tax Form
You receive an official looking IRS 9095 tax form with an urgent message to complete the form and FAX is to a special IRS number. Failure to comply will result in your bank account being frozen. The form asks for your full personal information including banking information – such as bank routing numbers. The form is fake, and the special telephone number is a direct line to organized criminals.

IRS Email – Tax Refund
You receive an official looking email from the IRS informing you that you are eligible for a significant refund. The amount is often about $500 and the only requirement is that your reply to the IRS email with your personal information and your banking information – such as bank routing numbers.

Objective of these frauds

To obtain your personal information and your banking information and to then loot your bank account through wire transfer or other money transfer methods.

If you supply this information and do not exercise due caution and care in protecting your personal information, your bank has no obligation under law or in common practice to reimburse you for your loss. You have been robbed and you are unavailable to receive restitution from the bank, because you freely gave personal information without exercising care.

How to Spot an IRS Fraud

The government and business will never ask for information they already have. Confirmation gambits are always fraudulent.

Confirmation gambit – where someone poses as a business or government official and seeks your personal information (Such as SSN and banking information) to confirm your identity and to maintain their records.

Confirmation information is asked for in an email, by fax, or on the telephone.

You are offered a windfall from a business or government by email, telephone, or fax.

Tax Time Advice to Consumers

File your taxes electronically – reduce the potential for your paper forms and documentation to be lost or stolen by criminals

If you do file paper forms, hand them to a uniformed postal employee who is behind the counter at a post office

NEVER place them in street corner post boxes, of outgoing mail drops in

NEVER hand them to someone standing in front of the post office at the filing deadline who looks like a postal official. Always go inside the post office.

Once a year, use a commercial service to ensure that your SSN has not been hijacked by someone for use in committing fraud. The cost can be as little as $10 to detect the use of your SSN by someone else.

Never respond with sensitive personal information (including SSN and banking information) if you are contacted by email, fax, or telephone. If you are concerned, call back the business or the government agency at the number listed in the phone book and ask to talk to a representative about this matter.

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