Employers Caught in Identity Theft Schemes
A pharmaceutical company in San Diego was sued by some of its former staff members after an employee stole a box of old personnel records found in a storage closet. Information from the records (including names and Social Security numbers) was used to rent apartments, set up cell phone service and open credit card accounts. The victims argued the crime would have never happened if the employer had taken proper care of their records. The ID thief was eventually convicted and the pharmaceutical company settled the case out of court.
An Alabama Hospital employee stole personal information about child patients. The names, birth dates and Social Security numbers were later used by someone else to claim false child exemptions on federal income tax returns that resulted in fraudulent refunds. The hospital employee was paid $100 for each name successfully used in the scheme, according to the Justice Department.
Temporary employees hired by an Arkansas Hospital were charged with stealing information from employee records. They allegedly took the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of six hospital employees and used the information to set up store credit accounts.
Police say the identity theft was part of a broader operation where the thieves sought temporary jobs in order to gain access to employer personnel records.