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Old 02-22-2015, 09:36 PM   #41
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It seems in some cases fraudsters have gotten hold of 2013 returns. I don't know how they do this other than getting into a user's account. But users accounts have been compromised by phishing, according to Krebs on Security.

I don't think Turbotax has any of my return data since I never used their on-line software. But I don't know that for sure. I don't know if they grab anything during the eFile. They shouldn't - that should go directly to eFile.com, but you never know!!!

I think you need either the 2013 AGI or the PIN. There is a work around if you don't have that info, but I think it involves a call to the IRS. That's not clear:
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Don't have a copy of Last Year's Return? No problem. Click here to obtain an Electronic Filing PIN from the IRS or you may call 866-704-7388. Note: If you are filing a joint return, you will need to obtain a separate PIN for both the taxpayer and the spouse.
The IRS has already closed quite a few identity theft holes from last year, which is why the fraudsters have moved onto state returns.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:19 AM   #42
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It seems in some cases fraudsters have gotten hold of 2013 returns. I don't know how they do this other than getting into a user's account. But users accounts have been compromised by phishing, according to Krebs on Security.
Haven't seen anything about that in the news. Do you mind sharing a link?
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:56 AM   #43
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Intuit (INTU) was up close to 7% for last week, after CEO earnings call...

One transcript can be found at sekingalpha.com. Here's an interesting exchange. In the opening remarks the CEO addressed the fraud and product problems. There were a few followup questions and answers, including the one below. The transcript has some obvious spelling and grammar errors, but you can correct as needed.

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Gil Luria - Wedbush Securities
Got it. And then on the – in the fraud situations did you find that those customers that were affected by fraud that somebody else filed under their information that the attrition there was higher than the rest of population was that a significant factor?

Brad Smith - President and Chief Executive Officer
It wasn’t and I tell you why first of all I want to make sure that I will clear in the opening comments that the headline here is our customers know they can trust Intuit. There is nothing we take more sacred in the privacy and security of their data and two things are fact today one is we’re up and running and processing returns in the federal and all the states and the second is there is no breach of Intuit systems. And that is not only the result of our own analysis but outside third-parties have coming in and run all their diagnostics with us.

And we’ve reached that conclusion I think with the customers the thing that they appreciate if they’ve actually been the victim of having their ID stolen from one of these other high-profile sources that we’re all reading about in the newspaper. And in fact last week in Stanford University I tend to the Cybersecurity Summit with President Obama and others.

Over 100 million identities have been stolen in the last 12 months that’s people walking around with somebody else’s Social Security Number and they were attacking the U.S. tax system and trying to file these returns, and so customers understand that this is broader and what we’re doing is we’re helping them navigate the process we’re getting them access the agents who can help them get their filing done for them. And so it’s not causing an attrition issue because they recognize this is in a particular product issue this is a systemwide problem and they were appreciating the help. So we have not seeing an increase in attrition due to that particular issue
It sounds to me as if the CEO has successfully deflected any criticism, and the security problems are "systemwide."

Elsewhere in the transcript the CEO addressed the product problems, and said less than 3% of users were affected. As to why they (TT) did this, the CEO explained:
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Our goal was simplification. So customers were clear, which product was right for their particular tax needs. For over 20 million online customers last year, the implementation went smoothly. So this year, we thought to complete the alignment by making similar changes to our desktop offerings. Our goal was to streamline product development and bring any new innovation from our online product back to our desktop customers as well. And for those who might eventually choose to migrate to the cloud, they would enjoy a consistent and familiar product experience. Good intensions but misinformed.
Can't say for sure whether or not I'll continue to use the home and business edition, but I'll definitely run my results through the competition (TaxAct and HRBlock) to test the experience before next tax season.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:28 AM   #44
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Haven't seen anything about that in the news. Do you mind sharing a link?
Some of the states reported that some of the info needed to file the false returns looked to be lifted from 2013 returns. Not a lot of info but seems they have more than just a SS#

FBI is investigating fraudulent tax returns filed through TurboTax - The Washington Post

TurboTax Halts State E-Filing Amid Data-Breach Probe - Total Return - WSJ
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:14 AM   #45
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Some of the states reported that some of the info needed to file the false returns looked to be lifted from 2013 returns. Not a lot of info but seems they have more than just a SS#

FBI is investigating fraudulent tax returns filed through TurboTax - The Washington Post

TurboTax Halts State E-Filing Amid Data-Breach Probe - Total Return - WSJ
Thanks for the links. Hopefully we will find out that the bad people are caught and punished, and our personal information is safe with all of the entities who have promised to do so.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #46
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I'm still waiting for the 1099-B and DIV from the ETF's in DW's Vanguard brokerage account, should be available before the end of the month. Normally I would not be concerned in the least, but now I've got the added possibility of coming to file my Federal or State return and finding out that a filing has already been made
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:28 PM   #47
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Haven't seen anything about that in the news. Do you mind sharing a link?
Quote:
Kodukula explained that traditionally most of the bogus refund requests were the result of what the company calls “stolen identity refund fraud” or SIRF. In SIRF scams, the thieves gather pieces of data about taxpayers from outside means — through phishing attacks or identity theft services in the underground, for example — then create accounts at TurboTax in the victims’ names and file fraudulent tax refund claims with the IRS.

But Kodukula said that over the past 18 months, Intuit has watched fraudsters shift from SIRF to account takeovers, wherein scammers compromise TurboTax credentials by exploiting human nature: The tendency for people to re-use passwords across multiple sites. This technique works because a fair percentage of users re-use passwords at multiple sites. When a breach at one site exposes the email addresses and passwords of its users, fraudsters will invariably try the stolen account credentials at other sites, knowing that a small percentage of them will work.
from The Rise in State Tax Refund Fraud — Krebs on Security

Also - more on that in the link I posted below.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:30 PM   #48
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I'm still waiting for the 1099-B and DIV from the ETF's in DW's Vanguard brokerage account, should be available before the end of the month. Normally I would not be concerned in the least, but now I've got the added possibility of coming to file my Federal or State return and finding out that a filing has already been made
We have usually waited until the end of March. But now I'm thinking that we'll go ahead, because our last 1099 was available on Feb 14. And if they revise it, we'll wait a bit to see if there are any additional revisions, and then file an amended return.

We've gone through several years with no revisions, and there haven't been any major changes to how brokerages report things since 2012, so hopefully there won't be any revisions this time.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:31 PM   #49
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More: TurboTax’s Anti-Fraud Efforts Under Scrutiny — Krebs on Security

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Robert Lee, a security business partner at Intuit’s consumer tax group until his departure from the company in July 2014, said he and his team at Intuit developed sophisticated fraud models to help Intuit quickly identify and close accounts that were being used by crooks to commit massive amounts of SIRF fraud.

But Lee said he was mystified when Intuit repeatedly refused to adopt some basic policies that would make it more costly and complicated for fraudsters to abuse the company’s service for tax refund fraud, such as blocking the re-use of the same Social Security number across a certain number of TurboTax accounts, or preventing the same account from filing more than a small number of tax returns.

We found literally millions of accounts that were 100 percent used only for fraud. But management explicitly forbade us from either flagging the accounts as fraudulent, or turning off those accounts.
“If I sign up for an account and file tax refund requests on 100 people who are not me, it’s obviously fraud,” Lee said in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity. “We found literally millions of accounts that were 100 percent used only for fraud. But management explicitly forbade us from either flagging the accounts as fraudulent, or turning off those accounts.”
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:44 PM   #50
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Wow. If that can be documented and supported TT is in for a rough time.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:47 PM   #51
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Wow. If that can be documented and supported TT is in for a rough time.
Read the discussion in the comments. How responsible is Turbotax for detecting, reporting and preventing tax fraud? After all, they are only providing a service and not committing the fraud themselves. A big gray area there!!!! especially for a for-profit corporation. It's instructive to read the article and discussion.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:51 PM   #52
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Ah but IRS could refuse to accept their e-filed returns.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:02 PM   #53
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Read the discussion in the comments. How responsible is Turbotax for detecting, reporting and preventing tax fraud? After all, they are only providing a service and not committing the fraud themselves. A big gray area there!!!! especially for a for-profit corporation. It's instructive to read the article and discussion.
I did. We'll see how this evolves.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:14 PM   #54
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I'm still waiting for the 1099-B and DIV from the ETF's in DW's Vanguard brokerage account, should be available before the end of the month. Normally I would not be concerned in the least, but now I've got the added possibility of coming to file my Federal or State return and finding out that a filing has already been made

I'm really surprised how long it takes to get the 1099-DIV from Vanguard brokerage. Still not available. Sure delays the ability to complete the filing. I guess there must be good reason but it's frustrating. First they said Feb 18th. Now it says Feb 24th. We will see.


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Old 02-23-2015, 05:16 PM   #55
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Thanks for the links. Hopefully we will find out that the bad people are caught and punished, and our personal information is safe with all of the entities who have promised to do so.
Assuming these fraudsters are found, tried, and convicted, they should be taken out back of the courthouse and shot in the back of the head.

And no, I'm not joking.

I have zero sympathy or compassion for anybody who would try to steal from, and provide so much heartache for, so many people as to steal their identity and make their life a living hell.

I think the world would be a much better place if these "white collar" criminals were treated like the scum they are. Execute them, and dump their corpses in the landfill.

Can you tell I have ZERO sympathy for them?

Getting off my soapbox now...
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:41 PM   #56
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I did. We'll see how this evolves.


Not sounding like a trustworthy company to do business with, are they? We never did our taxes online, but with their corporate culture they sure look like a sitting duck for hackers to embed malware in their software you download or numerous other nasty shenanigans.

We are going to use temporary passwords when working through them to download tax form data.

I still don't think we actually have a Turbotax "account".
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:33 AM   #57
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We are going to use temporary passwords when working through them to download tax form data.

I still don't think we actually have a Turbotax "account".


I've only downloaded data to prepare tax returns a few times, and I think I'm going to start doing it manually once again. It would be very helpful if brokers and banks developed "one use only" temporary userids for that purpose.

Your comment on having a TT "account" made me think. We have one, which TT requires just to purchase the yearly SW. Not nearly the same info as the online tax return, but it is an account. My kids all have accounts, at one time it was the only way to get a "free file". I guess these accounts are "forever", there's no way to delete or remove the information. Who remembers what email address or password was used to set them up. A bit scary, eh?
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:42 AM   #58
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Assuming these fraudsters are found, tried, and convicted, they should be taken out back of the courthouse and shot in the back of the head.

And no, I'm not joking.

I have zero sympathy or compassion for anybody who would try to steal from, and provide so much heartache for, so many people as to steal their identity and make their life a living hell.

I think the world would be a much better place if these "white collar" criminals were treated like the scum they are. Execute them, and dump their corpses in the landfill.

Can you tell I have ZERO sympathy for them?

Getting off my soapbox now...
I hear you .. but punishment for cyber crime, if ever caught or convicted, is not that severe, e.g., up to a year or two of imprisonment. The most severe punishment is trying to gain access to a government protected system which may result in imprisonment for 10 years and a heavy fine.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:57 AM   #59
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In reality there seem to be a large number of working poor with no bank accounts. Don't know why this persists. Perhaps that minimal balance is still too much of a hurdle.
Banks deselect people with small accounts although credit unions don't seem to have much of a problem with them. The other issue are fees people with low balances get hit with either for the account itself or overdraft charges. People eventually give up their accounts because they lack the discipline to not spend more than what is in their account.

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Issuing wages on pre-paid debit cards (used to be cash) has becomes popular. And then there are all those payday loan places - shudder!!
This is another evil. These cards frequently come with "handling charges" that further reduce low wage earners spendable income.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:06 AM   #60
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I've only downloaded data to prepare tax returns a few times, and I think I'm going to start doing it manually once again. It would be very helpful if brokers and banks developed "one use only" temporary userids for that purpose.

Your comment on having a TT "account" made me think. We have one, which TT requires just to purchase the yearly SW. Not nearly the same info as the online tax return, but it is an account. My kids all have accounts, at one time it was the only way to get a "free file". I guess these accounts are "forever", there's no way to delete or remove the information. Who remembers what email address or password was used to set them up. A bit scary, eh?
The info they have from us for purchasing TT is minimal compared to online filing.
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