If You Notice Extra Income On Your Tax Forms…

The Washington Times posted a story yesterday about the problem of illegal aliens using social security numbers stolen from American citizens. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released its report Thursday stating that in 2015 there were potentially 1.4 million people likely affected by the the theft of their social security numbers.

Part of the problem lies within the government bureaucracy. The article reports:

The IRS knows of 2.4 million people a year who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which is generally given out to immigrants who aren’t authorized to work. But the IRS is not allowed to talk with Homeland Security to help agents identify who and where those taxpayers are.

The migrants file their forms with their ITINs, but the W-2 forms they submit show valid Social Security numbers that they fraudulently gave to their employer to clear an initial work authorization check.

A staggering 87 percent of forms filed online using ITINs showed income credited to a Social Security number. More than half of forms filed by paper also showed that same fraudulent behavior.

The IRS tries to mark the files of the fraud victims when electronic filings are used. But the tax agency misses about half of the victims, the inspector general said.

For paper forms, the IRS did even worse, the audit found.

The tax agency, in its official reply to the report, insisted it takes identity theft “very seriously.”

Kenneth C. Corbin, commissioner of the IRS’s wage and investment division, said it has just completed a pilot program to figure out how to notify taxpayers they’re the victims of fraud.

The inspector general submitted recommendations with his report, by the IRS says its resources are too small to implement all of those recommendations. If you will excuse a personal gripe here, the IRS had enough resources to audit me the year I made a donation to the Tea Party. Nothing on our taxes had changed, and it was the first time my husband and I had been audited in 40+ years. I think the resources to solve the problem of stolen social security numbers could be found if the desire were there.

When Do We Admit ObamaCare Is A Bad Idea?

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that the HealthCare.gov website had been hacked. Evidently the hacker uploaded malicious software. Ann investigation concluded that no personal data was taken, so theoretically, if you used the site to purchase your healthcare insurance, you should not have to worry about identity theft (at least from that particular site).

The article concludes:

The attack comes as the federal government and insurance companies prepare for open enrollment, which begins Nov. 15. It is likely to be seized on by Republican lawmakers, who oppose the law, in fall campaigns as another sign of the health law’s flaws. HealthCare.gov suffered from crippling technology problems when it launched in October, though the government has since improved the site.

Taken with recent data thefts from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Home Depot Inc., and celebrities’ iPhones, the HealthCare.gov hack further underscores that large organizations haven’t yet mastered how to secure the troves of data they collect from consumers.

The government has no business doing health insurance–that power is not given to them in the Constitution. We are going to reach a point in America when we have to decide whether or not the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land. We can either choose to follow it or not. I think that during the past few years we have seen the consequences of not following the Constitution–government and government spending are out of control and all Americans pay a price for that–in terms of finances and in terms of privacy. It truly is time to take back the country from the Washington elitists who have been running it for a long time.

An Invitation To Identity Theft

ObamaCare could have a very negative affect on my life in the coming months. My husband and I will be losing our health insurance on January 1. The questions is, “Do we go to the ObamaCare website and risk having our identity stolen, or do we go without health insurance?” How dangerous is it to type your personal information into the ObamaCare website? Well, an article posted at the CNBC website last Monday provides answers to that question.

The article reports:

It could take a year to secure the risk of “high exposures” of personal information on the federal Obamacare online exchange, a cybersecurity expert told CNBC on Monday.

“When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn’t appear to have happened this time,” said David Kennedy, a so-called “white hat” hacker who tests online security by breaching websites. He testified on Capitol Hill about the flaws of HealthCare.gov last week.

“It’s really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn’t built into it,” said Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec. “We’re talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself.”

This is not encouraging. Another online security expert stated that the ObamaCare website needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

The article further reports:

Last month, a Sept. 27 government memorandum surfaced in which two HHS officials said the security of the site had not been properly tested before it opened, creating “a high risk.”

HHS had explained then that steps were taken to ease security concerns after the memo was written, and that consumer information was secure. Technicians fixed a security bug in the password reset function in late October, the agency said.

But on CNBC, Kennedy disputed those claims, saying vulnerabilities remain on “everything from hacking someone’s computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations.”

It really is time for Plan B.

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