April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
April 19, 2012 – The government continues to receive complaints involving subjects who have obtained the names and social security numbers of individuals for illegal purposes. Subjects use the information to defraud the U.S. government by electronically submitting a fraudulent tax return for a hefty refund. The prevalence of such complaints mirrors the recent surge in tax fraud cases involving identity theft.
Investment fraud is another scheme with an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nexus, on which the IC3 has received complaints. Subjects are incorporating the use of bogus IRS documents to perpetrate this scheme. One example of how subjects are using bogus IRS documents to commit investment fraud and steal victims’ identities is by the subjects posing as a tax consulting firm. The subjects engage potential victims via telephone and attempt to convince them to sell their underperforming shares in a company. The potential victim is advised to sell their corporate shares, applicable taxes must be paid. Some of the victims were also advised they had to buy other certain shares with their profit. Documents such as share certificates and invoices for federal and state taxes were exchanged via e-mail. After the funds were wired, the subjects became unresponsive to the victim’s inquiries. An open source search also revealed multiple complaints concerning this scheme. It is unknown at this time how the subjects obtained knowledge that the victims actually owned underperforming stocks.
The loss amounts tend to be much higher with investment fraud complaints than in regular identity theft complaints. Be aware.