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    New York Times: Web Site Stole Job Seekers’ Data in Tax-Fraud Scheme, Prosecutors Say

    The New York Times reports on a case in New York that concerns charges of identity theft and tax fraud:

    A Web site that promised to connect people with much-needed jobs during the recession was actually a means to steal the applicants’ personal information in a scheme to file fraudulent tax returns, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

    The site, www.jobcentral2.net, listed nonexistent jobs and used applicants’ identities to file the bogus federal tax returns and collect tax refunds, said Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney.

    Petr Murmylyuk, 31, a Russian citizen living Brooklyn, preyed upon unemployed people because they were unlikely to have income and unlikely to file a tax return, reducing the chances that the fraudulent returns would draw attention, Mr. Vance said. […]

    The ease with which a bogus company can look legitimate on the Internet has created a perfect scenario for fraudulently “phishing” for Social Security numbers and other personal information under various pretenses.

    Filing fake tax returns, in particular, is a growing problem. In January, the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department announced that a law enforcement sweep through 23 states had revealed the potential theft of thousands of identities and taxpayer refunds.

    The I.R.S. has devoted a Web page to listing enforcement actions involving identity thefts used to fraudulently claim tax refunds. […]

    The most common form of identity theft complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network relates to the filing of fraudulent government documents or benefits. […]

    Mr. Murmylyuk, also known as Dmitry Tokar, was charged with money laundering, identity theft and other charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top charge of grand larceny.

    Federal prosecutors in New Jersey, meanwhile, charged Mr. Murmylyuk on Tuesday with working with a ring that stole $1 million by hacking into retail brokerage accounts at Scottrade, E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab and other brokerage firms and executing sham trades.

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