Monday, August 24, 2015

Identity Fraud Etsy

“A person’s identity … is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound.”

That’s precisely what Maalouf goes on to do in the remainder of the wholly excellent, urgently relevant In the Name of Identity. Complement it with Margaret Mead and James Baldwin’sforgotten conversation about identity and Rebecca Goldstein on the mystery of personhood.

The ATO restricts access to records of Tax Office staff to a limited number of appropriately cleared and authorised staff to reduce the risk of fraud and privacy breaches. ATO

Etsy, the online marketplace for artisans, works to keep its business “mindful, transparent and humane,” but that became tricky when it crafted a new tax strategy.

Three months ago, the IRS disclosed that hackers gained access on the IRS website to tax returns for 100,000 taxpayers (more here). Yesterday, the IRS disclosed that the true number is 330,000.

herding cygnets links
Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska),Transacting in Data: Tax, Privacy, and the New Economy:

The technological developments of recent decades have allowed data to emerge as the functional equivalent of a currency in the digital economy. One result is that individuals now have the ability to obtain a wide variety of benefits, from cash discounts to access to news, social media, and online software, in exchange for their personal data. Scholars in a variety of fields recognize these personal-data transfers as market exchanges and have questioned the functioning and impact of the personal-data market. That market is currently invisible, however, for tax purposes.

As part of the government’s scrutiny of the property sector, the ATO has been tasked with overseeing foreign investment in residential real estate and establishing a new register of foreign asset ownership. The ATO is now responsible for policing foreign investors’ compliance with their obligations under the Foreign Acquisition and Takeover Act 1975 (FATA). The legislation bars non-residents from buying established residential property.
The ATO is investigating a surge in cases where offshore buyers are believed to be using nominee purchasers, companies, trusts and other structures to circumvent the rules.
Aislinn Walwyn, assistant commissioner for private groups and high-wealth individuals at the ATO, said her agency was not responsible for identifying money laundering but that it was working closely with other agencies including AUSTRAC and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). She said that if a foreign buyer made a property purchase in cash, for instance, that could be a red flag for further investigation.
Renovation and money laundering 

Kay Bell, Uncle Sam, watch TV! You need these kind of tech-savvy staffers to fight growing tax & government website hacking. Actually, it appears the IRS already relies on fictional characters to protect its systems.

The IRS continues to send billions of dollars to identity thieves, most far less sophisticated than the (presumably Russian) outfit that hacked the transcript application. For example:
Fourteen reputed gangsters from Plainfield, Elizabeth and Newark have been indicted on charges ranging from tax fraud to murder following a seven-month investigation into alleged financial scams that helped sustain their criminal organization.
All 14 members and associates of the Elizabeth-based 111 Neighborhood Crips street gang were charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, or RICO.

If you can’t keep the 111 Neighborhood Crips from electronic tax theft, you don’t stand much chance against Russian organized crime.
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