CBS: IRS Says Personal Info of over 700K May Have Been Stolen in Massive Data Breach

‘After a 9-month investigation the IRS’ saying it has put hundreds of thousands of more people at risk for identity theft’


GLOR: “A massive data breach at the IRS was first more than first released. They say over 700,000 social security numbers and other personal information may have been stolen. Jan Crawford is outside of irs headquarters in Washington with the sophisticated fraud. Jan, good morning.”
CRAWFORD: “Good morning. So the IRS started that get transcript program more than two years ago. Now after a nine-month investigation, the IRS is saying it has put hundreds of thousands of more people at risk for identity thefts.”
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ZELL: “Somebody was trying to claim a refund using my social security number and I knew something was wrong.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “Not even Virginia tax attorney Wayne Zell was protected from attackers who he says stole his identity.”
ZELL: “I got a form earlier this week stating that somebody had recovered my e-file personal identification number. I don’t have that.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “The IRS is a latest in a series of disclosures. In may 2015 the agency reported cybercriminals accessed some 114,000 taxpayer accounts and that number grew to 334,000. This month the IRS says as many as 724,000 victims.”
WEISMAN: “The IRS is, frankly, not doing enough to protect us.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “Steve Weisman is an expert in identity theft.”
WEISMAN: “The very fact it takes them so many months to even analyze the depth of the problem shows that there are probably even more identity theft that is going on.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “The IRS says hackers used personal information gathered from other online sources like bank accounts to answer personal identity questions on the get transcript forms. One possible culprit, IRS approved taxpayers. One audit found 6 out of 13 IRS approved failed to give information to people.”
WEISMAN: “We don’t use proper passwords. We don’t use proper security.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “The IRS is notifying the hacked taxpayers by mail, as well as free identity protection for a year. In a statement, the agency says it’s committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple fronts against tax-related identity theft. We are moving quickly to help these taxpayers.”
ZELL: “Short of changing your social security number, which I understand only witness protection program victims can do, I don’t really have a solution yet. But I think we need to search for one.”
[clip ends]
CRAWFORD: “Now, the online kind of download feature, that has been suspended since 2015, but the IRS is working to restore that part of the sfgs, but, of course, with enhanced security this time, to better protect taxpayers. Norah.”
O’DONNELL: “Jan, thank you very much.”

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