Showing posts with label identity theft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label identity theft. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Six months in prison for illegally accessing the medical records of six veterans?

Former Dept. of Veterans Affairs employee sentenced for leaking medical records of Richard Ojeda and more

Bailey Pace
January 22, 2020

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man was sentenced to six months in prison for illegally accessing the medical records of six veterans including those of Richard Ojeda as the former Army major was running for Congress in West Virginia, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

Jeffrey Miller, 40, a former Veterans Benefits Administration employee, was also sentenced to one year of supervised release.

Miller previously admitted that he illegally accessed the medical records of six veterans between January and May of 2018.

Miller further admitted that he took a picture of the medical records of former West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda, and then sent the picture to an acquaintance.
read it here

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Grifters are pretending to have hacked your computer’s camera

Has someone contacted you saying they’ve got webcam video of you? Don’t pay them.

Army Times
Meghann Myers
October 24, 2018
CID recommends covering webcams (perhaps with a piece of black tape), as well as keeping software updated, using a firewall and changing passwords with another device.
Add another one to the list of scams soldiers should be looking out for. Apparently now internet grifters are pretending to have hacked your computer’s camera and taken videos of you or your family, and they’re threatening to release them unless you pay up.
CID is warning soldiers about scammers claiming to have hacked computer cameras to record illicit videos and are now threatening to release them unless they're paid a ransom. (Getty Images)
Army Criminal Investigation Command is warning soldiers and families to beware of this “hijacked webcam” scam, according to a Thursday release from the Army.

“This is a scam. Do not send any payment to the blackmailer even if you receive an email specifically addressed to you,” CID Special Agent Daniel Andrews, with the Computer Crime Investigative Unit, said in the release. “Sometimes the email includes one or more of your real usernames and seems to directly target you.”
read more here

Friday, July 27, 2018

North Dakota did not protect veterans looking for help?

North Dakota Veterans’ personal information at risk, audit says
Bismark Tribune
James B. Miller, Jr. Forum News Service
Jul 24, 2018
Most notably, the audit found that the Veteran Aid Loan System was outsourced to a vendor without the department receiving an exemption from the Information Technology Department, meaning that, since 2005, information from veterans including credit history, debt-to-income ratio, discretionary income, spousal income, discharge information and more were hosted by an unvetted vendor.
In an extensive report, the Office of the State Auditor recently expressed concerns with the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs’ handling of the veteran aid loan, hardship assistance grant, impact grant and highly rural transportation grant programs.

The report stems from a performance audit conducted on the NDDVA beginning in October 2017 and concluding on March 28, 2018. The effort was headed by Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, and the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee.

The Veterans Aid Loan Program is a permanent revolving fund for eligible veterans and surviving spouses to receive funds for relief or assistance. The audit found that to obtain a loan, the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs required applicants to have the financial ability to repay the loan. However, neither ACOVA or the NDDVA had established underwriting guidelines to use when determining an applicant’s financial ability to repay the loan.
Attempts to reach North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen and Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Dean Overby for comment went unanswered.
read more here

Saturday, June 30, 2018

112 year old WWII veteran robbed!

112-year-old Austin resident, our oldest living veteran, robbed of savings, identity
Dallas Morning News
Brendan Meyer
June 30, 2018
Thankfully, the bank account was not connected to Overton's GoFundMe page, which finances his 24/7 in-home care. Since its inception in December 2016, the page has raised more than $320,000, though a large portion of that money has already been spent.
Someone is impersonating the oldest man in America.

Family members of Richard Overton, the 112-year-old World War II veteran who lives in Austin, learned that his personal bank account had been drained on Friday.

"Someone set up a bogus account, got his Social Security number and accessed his personal checking account," said Volma Overton, who is Overton's third cousin.
read more here

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Woman Convicted of VA and Freddie Mac Employee Idenity Theft

Jury Convicts Woman Of Freddie Mac And Veterans Affairs ID Theft
Alexandria News
February 17th 2017

Allise Jones, 29, of Lanham, Maryland, was convicted today by a federal jury on charges of conspiracy to commit identity theft, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, two counts of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Jones conspired with others to use personally identifiable information (PII) about current and former employees of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Department of Veterans Affairs, and others. From October 2012 to April 2014,

Jones and her co-conspirators had access to PII from over 100 VA employees and more than 2,000 Freddie Mac employees and affiliates. Jones and her co-conspirators used that information to obtain fraudulent identification documents and credit accounts used to defraud financial institutions, retailers, and others. Jones used the information to obtain credit cards she used to purchase goods and services such as plastic surgery, expensive jewelry, and travel.
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Sailors, You Get Life Lock After Data Hacked

Names, Data of more than 134,000 Sailors Compromised
Stars and Stripes
by Erik Slavin
Nov 24, 2016

The names and social security numbers of 134,386 sailors were accessed by "unknown individuals" from a contractor's laptop computer, the Navy announced Wednesday.
U.S. Navy sailors stand on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 22. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
The Navy said it was notified by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services on Oct.27 that one of its employees supporting a Navy contract had a laptop compromised, according to a service statement.

There is no evidence for now that the personal data has been misused, according to the preliminary results of an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation.

"The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously -- this is a matter of trust for our sailors," Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said, according to a Navy statement. "We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach."
read more here

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marine Gets Back Stolen Items and Idenity

Man accused of posing as Marine, stealing veteran’s ID caught in Montana
FOX 13 News Salt Lake City
Dora Scheidell
JULY 11, 2016

“My medals are intact, my service record is there, thank goodness. Pictures of my buddies who aren’t with us anymore. The whole time I had spent in the Marine Corps has been restored," Kurt Harris.
SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah veteran may finally get justice after a man claiming to be a fellow serviceman allegedly stole his military uniforms and medals last month.

“Just an expert con man,” said Marine Kurt Harris of Michael Manning, who he met at a Salt Lake City gym.

Aside from Harris’ military uniforms and medals, Manning is also accused of stealing Harris’ car and laptop.

Manning was arrested in Montana over the weekend.

“I received a phone call from the Missoula Police Department,” Harris said.

Harris learned that Manning had been staying with a girl in Montana that he had met online, but when his demeanor started changing, she Googled his name.
read more here

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Senior Chief Petty Officer Accused of Identity Theft From Sailors

Navy senior chief charged with stealing identities of subordinates
The Virginian-Pilot
By Scott Daugherty
Published: April 29, 2016

In all, investigators linked Pressley to more than $24,000 in loans issued in the names of the two sailors, according to court documents.
NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — A 19-year Navy veteran and Bronze Star recipient is charged with stealing the identities of at least two subordinates to secure fraudulent loans.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Clayton Pressley III – who is currently assigned to a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit in Virginia Beach – is set to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Norfolk for a preliminary hearing.

According to court documents, Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents believe Pressley stole the identities of at least two sailors. The first sailor, identified in court documents only by the initials J.B., told investigators last October he received a letter of denial about two months earlier from Discover Financial Services in reference to a personal loan application he did not complete.
read more here

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Blown Up in Afghanistan--Identity Stolen At Haley VA Hospital

Woman indicted, accused of stealing the identity of Afghanistan war veteran
Tampa Bay Times

By Sara DiNatale, Times Staff Writer
Friday, April 1, 2016

Prince is also accused of filing false tax returns using the identities of four other victims, totaling more than $33,000, according to court records.
TAMPA — The day Army 1st Lt. Ryan Timoney arrived at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center, he was still recovering from a suicide bomber's blast in Afghanistan.

That same day in June 2012, Timoney's name, birth date and Social Security number were traded for crack cocaine.

David Lewis, the VA worker who gave up the personal information to feed his drug habit, has already been sentenced to six years in prison. Now, 31-year-old Nejah Prince is facing an indictment in federal court alleging aggravated identity theft and filing false tax returns, according to records filed Thursday.

Timoney, who had part of his leg amputated, first noticed something was amiss when he was mailed a receipt for a TV bought in his name.

According to the court filings, Prince used a Montgomery Ward credit card to buy a plasma screen television and cookware set for nearly $1,400 in February 2013. The credit card, the documents said, were in the name of someone with the initials "R.T."
read more here

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wisconsin Veterans Social Security Numbers Unauthorized Release

Investigation launched into VA handling of Social Security numbers
News 3 investigation highlights email issue
Channel 3000 News
Published On: Nov 20 2015

The inspector general's office at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched an official review of how hundreds of Social Security numbers of Wisconsin veterans were emailed last April to an unauthorized individual from a email address.

The move comes after a News 3 investigation highlighting the April incident and a request to the VA's inspector general from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to look at whether the personally identifiable information of veterans is being sent unprotected nationwide. Federal privacy laws and multiple VA regulations require all emails with personally identifiable information to be password-protected.

Current VA software flags emails with nine-digit numbers separated by dashes, but not for nine-digit sequences that don't have dashes. In the U.S. military, since Vietnam, veterans' identification numbers have been their Social Security numbers without dashes to separate the numbers.

In a letter to Baldwin, VA Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday wrote: "Before undertaking a nationwide review, we first need to understand what happened in Wisconsin." Halliday indicated that inspector general's office was also looking at a "potentially related situation" in another unnamed state.

"I am pleased that the VA inspector general is taking action to review what happened in Wisconsin," Baldwin said in a statement emailed to News 3. "The accidental and unintended disclosure of personal information can put our veterans and their families at risk for fraud and identity theft, so we need to make certain that the VA has the tools in place to prevent that from happening."
read more here

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Former U.S. Marine Charged with Stealing Identities of Fellow Service Personnel

Former U.S. Marine Charged with Stealing Identities of Fellow Service Personnel in Scheme to Defraud Navy Federal Credit Union of More Than $138,000

U.S. Attorney’s Office
July 17, 2015

Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO—A former United States Marine from Calumet City stole the identities of several fellow Marines and used their information to illegally procure more than $138,000 from Navy Federal Credit Union, according to an indictment returned this week in federal court in Chicago.

While serving in Combat Logistics Regiment 3 at Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan, LEONARD E. PARKER JR. obtained a Marine roster containing the personal information of several fellow Marines stationed at the camp, according to the indictment. After returning to the United States, Parker and a co-defendant, DONTREAL S. EVANS, allegedly used the Marines’ information to transfer approximately $138,798 from the Marines’ accounts into bank accounts belonging to individuals Parker and Evans had recruited into the scheme.

Parker and Evans offered to pay those individuals to allow Parker and Evans to control and access the accounts, the indictment states. The pair later withdrew funds and made purchases from the accounts they controlled, and kept the proceeds from the scheme, according to the indictment. Parker also allegedly filed false tax returns in the names of Marines whose personal information was on the roster.

The indictment, which was returned Thursday, charged Parker, 24, of Calumet City, with five counts of financial institution fraud; one count of aggravated identity theft; and four counts of filing false claims against the United States. Evans, 21, of Lansing, was charged in the indictment with three counts of financial institution fraud. The defendants’ arraignment in U.S. District Court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.
read more here

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hackers Have Records Of Every Federal Employee?

Union: Hackers Have Personnel Data on Every Federal Employee 
Associated Press
by Ken Dilanian
Jun 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, saying that the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by "the Chinese" without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federal of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on OPM's internal briefings, "We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees."

The OPM data file contains the records of non-military, non-intelligence executive branch employees, which covers most federal civilian employees but not, for example, members of Congress and their staffs.
read more here

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Second Veteran Received Wrong Records From Tampa VA

Second Tampa Bay veteran received someone else's medical records
By Shannon Behnken
Updated: Jan 26, 2015

A second Tampa Bay area veteran received someone else's confidential medical records in the mail.

8 On Your Side reported about a case last week when a woman found another veteran's records in her mail, and now another veteran has stepped forward.

Randy Blackford, of Port Richey, received a letter denying his disability compensation from the Veteran's Administration. That was bad enough, but, tucked inside, Blackford found the name, social security number and medical information belonging to another veteran.

"I'm worried somebody's information," Blackford said. "I've got this guys'. Hey, they probably got mine somewhere floating around."

The same thing happened to Carol McBride, who served in the Navy, when she got copies of her medical file from the Veteran's Administration.

When her 1,500 pages of medical records arrived, she found someone else's records sandwiched between hers. There are three EKG reports and doctor's notes for a man who was in the Army in the 1980's. His name, social security number and date of birth are right there: Everything someone would need for identity theft.

"I know more about him than I should know about him, and had it been someone who's not honest, they could have taken quite a bit of advantage of him," McBride said. "I shouldn't have to deal with this ... "I don't want to be responsible for someone else's medical records."

McBride also worries that if she has someone's records by mistake, someone else could have hers. After all, she ordered her file to make sure all of her records are there. She's battling with the VA over her compensation amount for a disability. She questions whether all of her records are there and wonders if this man needs the documents she now has.
read more here
WFLA News Channel 8

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Indiana Veterans Victims of Identity Theft

VA: Indiana veteran among 4 who had identities compromised 
By Bennett Haeberle
Published: January 13, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Documents containing personal information of four veterans – including one from Indiana – were left unattended for two to three days in a “common area” of a federal building in Cleveland, the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed to I-Team 8.

As a result of the error, the VA is now apologizing and offering to pay for identity protection for the victims.

In a letter from the Cleveland VA Regional Office sent to Indiana veteran Bob Ildefonzo, Director Tony Milons wrote:
“We were recently notified that documents containing your social security number were inadvertently left unattended in a common area within the Cleveland Federal Building. As a result of the error, information identifiable to you was inappropriately disclosed. We have investigated this incident and provided remedial training to those individuals who handle this type of information.”

The identity breach, which happened last fall, highlights yet another issue new VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be asked to correct this year after allegations of long wait times, falsified documents and pending medical claims led to the ousting of former Secretary Eric Shinseki in 2014.

A copy of the letter, provided to I-Team 8, goes on to state that the VA will pay for credit monitoring for Ildefonzo through Equifax, but doesn’t elaborate on how the breach occurred, where it occurred and if anyone was disciplined for the mistake.

read more here

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Deployed Soldier Victim of Identity Theft, Mom Charged

Police: Mother Used Soldier Son's Identity, Stole Thousands From Bank Account
Hudson Valley News
By: Michael Howard

An Orange County mother is facing serious charges after police say she stole money from her son while he was on active duty. Time Warner Cable News reporter Michael Howard has that story.

Over the past year and a half, state police say 46 year old Pearl Smith, 46, used her sons identity to withdraw more than $27,000 dollars from his personal bank account.

"It's even worse when it’s around these times of the year, and it probably doesn’t help that it’s a family member let alone your mother," said Lt. Michael Drake.

Investigators say it all started when her son, a U.S. Army soldier returned from Afghanistan, and noticed someone was withdrawing money from his account.

“Just over $27,000 had been taken from his bank account from Wells Fargo, this is while he was back at Fort Drum in Watertown," said Lt. Drake.
read more here

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Army Reservist Stole Identities of Deployed Soliders

Former U.S. Army Reservist Jailed For Stealing Identities of Soldiers in Afghanistan
NBC Los Angeles
By Michael Larkin and Gadi Schwartz
Nov 5, 2014

A former U.S. Army reservist from Pomona is heading to prison for stealing the identities of fellow soldiers stationed in Afghanistan after he pleaded no contest Tuesday.

Gustavo Cervantes was sentenced at court in downtown Los Angeles to 3 years, 8 months in prison for stealing personal information from members of his platoon while in Kandahar.

Investigators said he sent the personal information to his cousin Rigoberto Cortez in Pomona, who would use the details to open up lines of credit. He racked up nearly $200,000 worth of luxury cars, TVs, computers, furniture, and appliances.
read more here

Sunday, August 24, 2014

VA Contractor Put Veterans Info in Hands of Tampa Criminal

Man accused of stealing Haley VA patient ID info
Tampa Bay Times
William R. Levesque
Times Staff Writer
Friday, August 22, 2014
VA policy requires a criminal background check for employees. It is unclear if that policy extends to contractors. The VA revamped rules concerning document shredding in 2008 after investigators found that agency employees improperly destroyed veteran claim documents.

TAMPA — The documents with the Social Security numbers of veterans treated at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center were supposed to be shredded by a company whose website warns, "Don't become a victim of identity theft."

But the firm, federal prosecutors say, employed a 24-year-old with a criminal history who kept those records out of the shredder, instead selling them to individuals who used the documents to file fraudulent tax returns.

Federal marshals on Wednesday arrested Willie Streater of E Hamilton Avenue in Tampa on eight charges accusing him of stealing the Social Security numbers of at least 34 veterans treated at Haley in 2011 and 2012. Prosecutors say $1.1 million was stolen.

It is the second case filed since 2013 charging someone with stealing identifying information of veterans treated at Haley.

Streater worked for Secure Waste Disposal Inc. of Orlando, a company under contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to shred documents at the North Tampa hospital, prosecutors say. The indictment did not say what kind of patient records were involved in the case.
read more here

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vietnam Veteran declared dead by VA after identity thief died

VA letter tells veteran he's dead
WCSC News 5
Posted: Aug 15, 2014
Charles Hubbard said the problem goes back to when his identity was stolen in California by a man who died. (Source: KVUE/CNN)

AUSTIN, TX (KVUE/CNN) - A Vietnam veteran received a letter from the Department of Veteran Affairs informing him he was dead, and demanding his family pay back thousands of dollars in benefits.

"I died Jan. 15 of this year," said very much alive Charles Hubbard.

The Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War said he learned about his untimely demise in the letter that also said his family had to pay back money received after his death.

"Our records show the deceased was not entitled to benefits in the amount of $5,270 and 0 cents. The VA said I was deceased, and they closed my checking account when the bank found out," Hubbard said.

Hubbard suspects the problem started after a man stole his identity and used it to get treatment at a California hospital.

The man who stole his identity then passed away.
read more here

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fake phishing scam traced back to Army commander's test

Fake phishing scam traced back to Army commander's test
The Washington Post
By Lisa Rein and Eric Yoder
Published: March 15, 2014

An ominous e-mail message landed in the inboxes of a small group of U.S. Army employees last month, warning of a security breach in their federal retirement plans (Google cache of page) and urging them to log in and check their accounts.

The e-mail was a fake — a classic spear phishing expedition looking for unwitting victims willing to share their personal financial information.

But the perpetrator was not a criminal hacker. It was an Army combat commander, acting on his own authority to test whether anyone on his staff would fall for the trick. In the process of sussing out internal vulnerabilities, though, the commander sowed panic across the government: Employees forwarded the e-mail to thousands of friends and colleagues at the Defense Department, the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, the Labor Department and other agencies.

Even the Pentagon’s Chief Information Office, which oversees computer networks across the military, was unaware of the phony e-mail.
read more here

Friday, March 7, 2014

Over 100 Veterans' identities traded for crack at Tampa VA

Former VA worker gets six years for trading IDs for crack
Posted: Mar 06, 2014

A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs was sentenced to six years in federal prison Thursday morning for the theft of more than 100 veterans' personal information.

U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez-Covington sentenced David F. Lewis for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents and testimony presented in court, Lewis was an employee at the Tampa VA Medical Center.

On at least five different dates in 2012, Lewis accessed and printed the personal information, including names, social security numbers, and medical information of over 100 veterans who were in-patients at the Tampa VA Medical Center.
read more here