7/28/15 Identity Theft

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[“Identity theft tops the list of consumer complaints that are reported to the [Federal Trade Commission] and other enforcement agencies every year.” See details at the FTC website.]

The Federal Trade Commission has fined private industry millions of dollars. They do it for a lot of reasons. Sometimes companies are engaged in fraudulent activities. Other times they’re simply complicit or complacent in securing personal financial information [here, here, here].

Earlier this year, the feds fined Target $10 million for a security breach. A breach that affected credit and debit card information.

Yet, all of this pales in comparison to a massive data breach that exposed 22 million Americans. Detailed personal and financial information was hacked from government computers. Many suspect China.

The Office of Personnel Management did such a poor job securing sensitive information that countless lives could be at risk.  Foreigners and Americans living abroad associated with our intelligence and military communities may have been compromised.

There’s more bad news.

Last week, the Government Accountability Office gave a failing grade to an important aspect of ObamaCare. In an undercover operation the GAO found the Health Insurance Marketplace had no meaningful fraud protection.

In 2014, 12 fictitious people applied for ObamaCare benefits.  Eleven were approved.  This happened even though incomplete and false data was intentionally used in the applications.  The 11 were automatically reenrolled in 2015.  Many of them were given increased subsidies without even asking.

When it comes to fraud and identity theft, the biggest culprits may be in Washington.

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