identity theft

Ed Dumbill / Flickr/CC

In recent years, U.S. retailers, including Target and Neiman-Marcus, have been hit by huge data breaches – with hackers gaining access to the personal information of millions of consumers, raising the possibility of fraud and identity theft. The IRS, too, has proven vulnerable, with thieves filing false tax returns, resulting in billions of dollars in potentially fraudulent refunds. In New Hampshire recently, more than 200 medical professionals, mostly doctors, had their social security numbers stolen and used to file false federal tax returns.

TD Bank Warns N.H. Customers Of Security Breach

Oct 15, 2012

The State Attorney General’s office announced today that more than 43,000 TD Bank customers in New Hampshire are at risk of identity theft. The bank can’t locate two tapes containing sensitive data shipped between locations back in March.

TD Bank is offering new accounts free of charge and a year of credit monitoring to affected customers.

In total, the bank is notifying more than 250,000 customers on the east coast about the breach.

You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.

Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.

Photo by Theein via Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of foster kids are released from the system at age 18 only to realize that they are thousands of dollars in fraudulent debt. It can take years for any target of identity theft to restore their credit, and even longer to recover a sense of security. Former foster kids without family support or the benefit of experience or access to resources can be especially challenged.