Mass tax fraud in Seattle archdiocese security breach

Massive breach

False tax returns filed in the names of as many as 90,000 archdiocesan, school and parish employees and volunteers have alerted the US Archdiocese of Seattle to a massive security breach, reports NCR Online.

The Seattle archdiocese in the US, the FBI and the tax department are working to determine the scope and source of a security breach that surfaced after discovery of false tax returns filed in the names of archdiocesan, school and parish employees and volunteers, reports NCR Online.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of those employees and volunteers are spending long wait times in tax and credit bureau phone queues trying to sort out how much hackers might have used their personal information. Even if that data has not been used to date, it could still find its way into varied forms of identity theft down the road, many fear.

In an "Urgent Notice" updated Friday on the archdiocesan website, employees and volunteers have been told they could be 'victims of a national tax refund fraud.'

'Victims' social security numbers have been used in fraudulent tax returns for the calendar year 2013,' it stated.

In a letter addressed to pastors, pastoral leaders, and school administrators, Archbishop Peter Sartain offered 'prayer and empathy for experiencing personal disruption, anxiety and in some cases serious fraud.

'One hears about this kind of scam but hopes it never touches us personally. Now that it has, I want you to know how sorry I am that this is happening and offer my assurances that we are doing all in our power to get to the bottom of it, with the assistance of experts and law enforcement.'

The Seattle Times on March 12 quoted Archdiocesan spokesman, Greg Magnoni, as saying personnel in at least three parishes as well the chancery had been victimised.

FULL STORY Personal info security breach stings Seattle archdiocese (NCR Online)

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