back to article IRS: Tax-record snaffle scam actually 200% worse than first feared

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted Monday that the May scam in which criminals tried to use stolen data on more than 114,000 people to collect tax information was far larger than it originally thought. Uncle Sam's taxman now claims that on top of the 100,000 or so people whose data had been used to collect tax …

  1. Kev99 Silver badge

    The internet is a ssecure as a screendoor

    Yes, let's store confidential and proprietary information on the internet. It's perfectly safe. No one will ever get into our datastores. Yeah, and dehydrated water is great for survivalists. Idiots.

  2. elDog

    Now that your credit and identify have been raped and strewn around the world

    You will be given a "Free, Complimentary Credit Report" and "Free Financial Advice" for the next year.

    Never mind that you won't need any f'n credit reports since you won't have any. Financial advice is for people that still have any assets left.

    Since the US government seems hell bent to stop taxing the ones that can be taxed and spending what it doesn't have, perhaps someone just opened the back door and let the perps in to raid the treasury even faster.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Now that your credit and identify have been raped and strewn around the world

      It was even funnier last time they lost the records of all federal employees.

      They signed everyone affected up for free credit record checks and announced in the press that your login details would be your name and the last digits of your SSN - the very details the breach had stolen.,,,,

  3. Steve Knox

    There's actually surprisingly little...

    personal information in the average US tax return. Most of it is what was required by Get Transcript to begin with, and is as readily available (or more so) from other sources.

    What is available is employment information, previous years' AGI, et al -- things which are most beneficial in (as the article said) attempting to file a fraudulent return next year.

    This is still a big deal, and I'll be anxiously checking my mail for the next few months, but I'm more worried about the next inevitable major credit card breach by another retailer whose entire idea of computer security is to padlock the machines to the desk so they can't be physically removed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not everyone can get a credit report

    You only can get a credit report if you ever applied for credit. If you have never applied for a credit card and never applied for any kind of loan then any attempt to get a credit report will lead to a "user unknown" type of error. I'm one of those frugal types who feels like buying with cash is not such a bad deal and credit is a bit evil (and never bought a house, for which a loan may be quite necessary). A credit report does not work.

    I guess though that in that case if you find you suddenly can get a credit report you should probably worry.

    I hope anyone whose refund was pocketed by criminals will still be compensated by the IRS. It's the IRS who created an insecure system, they have suffer the consequences.

    By the way, bad credit history is considered better than no credit history. I find that somewhat disturbing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not everyone can get a credit report

      Not a single person working for the IRS or providing contracted services is going to get penalized for this. The only people affected are the victims and the final victim-class, the ever unwilling (sane ones at least) taxpayers. Crims money has to come from some where. Never mind, Treasury just printed more courtesy of Feds QE.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not everyone can get a credit report

      A colleague was hit by an earlier version of this scam - where criminals got his information and then file for tax refunds on his behalf and steal the money. The IRS has been astonishingly unhelpful and the scam was inflicted on him three years in a row - even though the system is "supposed" to require a PIN to file a tax return, it apparently didn't work this year and his refund was stolen for a third year in a row.

      He's now getting close to having to apply for a new SSN, which as everyone in the US knows would be a whole other nightmare because everyone else uses SSN as an unchangeable primary key - even though it was never supposed to be used as such.

      So, no, the IRS won't be doing anything at all to help these people, unless a politician is in the group of people affected.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Not everyone can get a credit report

      > By the way, bad credit history is considered better than no credit history. I find that somewhat disturbing.

      Yes, because someone with a bad history has a history by which they can be judged. NO history whatsoever starts ringing fraud alarm bells and you get really squinty looks, and no chance in hell of a loan.

      So yep, you're basically screwed if you want a house or a car around here. I was screwed by the "pay cash for everything" attitude too, so I know.

      I was lucky to get a house in the bubble when they were giving loans to anyone with a pulse. I was also lucky enough to not buy more house than I could afford, regardless of the advice from my "friends"

      The world has moved on from "pay cash for everything" as you do need a credit card to buy stuff on the internet. Don't be stupid enough to use a debit card, as that's not covered by consumer protection laws, at least in the US. I do pay it all off every month though.

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    It's so refreshing to see a journalist get a percentage increase right.

  6. Nigel 11

    Realy 334,000?

    not 334,000,000 ? (I'm guessing that's a good fraction of the US-resident US taxpayers).

    Where better to bury the truth than in a grovelling "apology"?

    1. Nigel 11

      Paper tax return?

      One of many reasons I stick to communicating with HMRC on paper, is so that when they corrupt my data or even worse, spam it to the world, at least I'll have proof that it was their IT at fault, not my IT. (Well, at least until the post office loses my tax return ... hasn't happened yet. )

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