Department Of Labor Gives Thieves All Access Pass To Steal Identities
Pension Expert Reveals How a Flaw In The Department of Labor Website is Handing Crooks Your Private Information.
- (1888PressRelease) July 07, 2010 - PLAINVIEW, NY - With the potential for up to one in four Americans this year to become a victim of identity theft, the last place you'd expect to find crooks getting help is the government, but that's exactly what is happening from the Department of Labor (DOL).
This year the DOL went "paper-less", with mandatory filing of Form 5500, and tacked hefty fines onto business owners who fail to file their required returns online and on time! With a zero tolerance policy, small businesses will either comply or be faced with DOL fines and/or an IRS fine of up to $15,000.
Certified Asset Protection Specialist and former Online Banking Security Analyst Adryenn Ashley says, "Picture this: with a few mouse clicks, a thief can have your tax id number and your signature. Then by forging a Power of Attorney with the proper signature, having it notarized in any of the 34 States that do not require Notary Public's to use a log book, and viola, your company can have a new account opened and all the money from your old account transferred!"
This type of fraud has long plagued the elderly, but in those cases, it is usually someone they know. Now, with this mandate, hundreds of thousands will be just a signature away from being out of business.
How does this happen? A flaw in the Department of Labor website. Most businesses filing electronically reveal their tax id number, but not the signature of the person in charge, the person with the authority to sign for the business. For that they use a secret login and password that legally established the submission as electronically signed by them. The problem arises when a tax preparer submits the forms. The forms are still required to be signed under penalty of perjury by the company representative. Ashley says, "These forms are standard and if the DOL wanted to they could easily add a black box over the signature and the tax id numbers." What makes it an all access pass is that there are no log in requirements, no restrictions on how many searches you can do, or for what purpose.
Brett Goldstein, a Plainview, New York-based pension administrator and President of The Pension Department, states, "I was able to search the DOL site and within 30 minutes I was able to find 10 signatures on the DOL's site. Within an hour, I had over 20 signatures. I called one of the business owner's whose signature appeared on the DOL's site. I asked him if he was concerned about identity theft. He said that he hopes nothing would happen."
In an effort go green, the DOL has put small businesses behind the 8 ball. In essence they are telling small business to either upgrade and get on line, let your tax preparer file and be at risk for identity theft, or pay a hefty fine. In this economy, none of those options are good. Goldstein says, "If I can find 20 signatures in an hour, imagine what crooks can do?"
About Brett Goldstein:
Brett Goldstein is a Pension Administrator and President of The Pension Department, a consultancy based in Plainview, New York. He is a speaker and media personality who specializes in providing businesses and individuals with affordable retirement planning solutions. Goldstein's timely advice and tips have been featured on Fox Business Network, Kiplinger's, Wall Street Journal Radio, MarketWatch.com, New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, and many others. Investment services are offered exclusively through: Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.
Brett Goldstein is available for interview: In the Greater New York City area; nationwide by arrangement.
About Adryenn Ashley
In her book, "Every Single Girl's Guide to Her Future Husband's Last Divorce," unabashed award winning author Adryenn Ashley achieves the impossible: financial advice that's a blast to read. A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Certified Asset Protection Specialist, and Forensic Accountant, Ashley breaks down complicated financial issues, empowering people to take crucial steps toward their own financial health. Ashley's engaging commentary has been featured on Fox Business, Oprah and Friends, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, and many more.
Adryenn Ashley is available for interview: In the San Francisco Bay Area: nationwide by arrangement.