Posted on August 6th, 2013 No comments
What is FACTA?
Signed into law on December 4, 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is federal legislation aimed at the prevention and penalization of consumer fraud and identity theft. Administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FACTA Disposal Rule has been in effect since June 1, 2005. The Disposal Rule puts in place requirements for proper document disposal and destruction, and recognizes the problems that can and do arise when private information is disposed of in an irresponsible manner.
Who is affected by FACTA?
FACTA applies to virtually all persons and businesses in the United States, mandating that “any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information, or any compilation of consumer information, for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.”
Under FACTA, consumer information is defined as personal identifying materials which extend beyond just a person’s name, including:
- a social security number
- a driver’s license number
- a phone number or e-mail address
- a physical address
To comply with the FACTA Disposal Rule, businesses and individuals must take “reasonable measures” to ensure such information does not fall into the wrong hands. Reasonable measures include the “burning, pulverizing, or shredding” of paper documents, such as the contracting of a third-party engaged in the document destruction business to dispose of confidential information in a manner consistent with the Act.
Failure to abide by FACTA may result in stiff penalties. Victims are entitled to actual damages sustained due to incompliance; they may also seek statutory damages, and, in some cases, file class-action suits. Federal and state authorities are also empowered to bring legal enforcement actions against businesses that violate the Act.
Posted on May 2nd, 2013 No comments
Keeping customer and employee information secure is more than good business. It’s the law.
Legislation concerning privacy is becoming more rigorous and continues to be strictly enforced. Organizations that fail to comply will incur severe penalties.
Shredding all confidential information is the preferred method of document destruction.
Our mobile shredding trucks turn paper and computer hard drives into fine shreds that can’t be reconstructed.
19593 NE 10th Avenue
Miami, FL 33179
Tel: 305-999-9234 / 866-467-4733
Posted on April 15th, 2013 No comments
MIAMI (CBS4) – For the first time, lawmakers in the U.S. Senate unveiled how they plan to stop a growing national scam that’s stolen billions of dollars in tax money from Uncle Sam and legitimate taxpayers alike: tax refund fraud.
It’s the latest twist on the growing identity theft problem facing consumers here and across the country.
Critics say red tape and a massive federal agency, the IRS, delayed preventing even more losses this tax season because of conflicting marching orders from Washington lawmakers.
As CBS Miami has reported for a while now, several years ago Congress began mandating the IRS make it easier to file tax returns from home computers.
But what some critics say they didn’t realize was it would also make it easier for identity thieves to file phony returns too.
On Wednesday, Senate lawmakers finally started talking about new fixes that some critics say have already taken way too long.
“According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, we are losing over $5 billion dollars each year to the crime and now the problem is getting worse,” said Chairman Sen. Bill Nelson.
Facing a new filing deadline next week with hundreds of thousands of victims nationwide still waiting for last years’ tax refunds, Washington lawmakers are running out of time to put the tax ID thieves out of business.
Formal hearings by the Senate’s Special Committee on aging also turned the spotlight on our CBS Miami investigations into the growing scam which is now in its’ 3rd year.
“CBS, Channel 4, WFOR has really made this a cause celeb as they have tried to alert people to what is happening and these kinds of instances that our public is getting fleeced and in the process…the taxpayer is getting fleeced,” Nelson testified.
One of South Florida’s latest victims, Weston resident Leonardo Fernandez, agrees.
He just found out his wife’s’ tax refund was stolen after her tax return was rejected by the IRS. He says somebody else used her name and ID to file a phony return.
“It’s terrible, they rejected because they find out somebody else fill it out, the Income Tax paper with her name,” Fernandez said.
To keep the problem from getting even worse in the future, a series of new proposals were just filed by Senate Democrats including Bill Nelson.
Under the plan, the IRS would be required to process legitimate refunds to victims within 90 days.
It expands the use of special personal security numbers for taxpayers, and allows us to opt-out of electronic, computerized-filing.
The use of credit cards for direct refund deposits would be restricted along with multiple refunds into the same bank accounts.
A similar bill was also recently filed in the U-S House of Representatives.
The IRS estimates losses could exceed $21 billion dollars over just the next 5 years with Florida expected to remain the top spot in the nation for tax refund scams.
Bill sponsors hope these latest proposals can be passed quickly and signed into law.
But they’ve also got the budget, immigration reform and gun control to work on.
So there’s probably little chance Congress will be able to take action to fix the problem anytime soon.
And as this years’ April 15th deadline approaches, the latest group of taxpayers are now be learning their Tax ID’s have been stolen and their tax refunds have ended up in the hands of ID thieves.
And the long wait will begin all over again for a year or longer to get their legitimate refunds back from the IRS.
For more information on tax ID fraud, visit these government links: