Attorney General, Commissioner Warn of Identity Theft Dangers
HARTFORD - As the New Year starts, Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan and Attorney General George Jepsen are reminding Connecticut taxpayers to be more vigilant in protecting themselves and others from identity theft and fraud. â€œHardly a week goes by that my office doesnâ€™t hear about a data privacy breach where hackers or scam artists attempt to gain access to social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank accounts,â€? said Attorney General Jepsen. â€œSome use sophisticated cyber attacks to get information, while others may search garbage cans, use misleading emails or fake Web sites, or even just look over an unsuspecting consumerâ€™s shoulder.â€? Said Commissioner Sullivan, â€œThe Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is continuously improving our protection of taxpayer information and our efforts to fight tax fraud. In 2012, we were able to stop more than $7 million in fraudulent refunds from being issued. But cyber criminals become more sophisticated all the time.â€?
Commissioner Sullivan noted that the agency worked with Attorney General Jepsenâ€™s office to create website information that helps taxpayers help themselves not become victims of identity theft. The site links to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where taxpayers can obtain free credit reports and to the Attorney Generalâ€™s website identity theft page where individuals can find out what to do if they may be victims of identity theft. The Department as also adopted a zero tolerance policy for employees who compromise taxpayer identity information and is now requiring participation in an extensive cyber-security training program across the agency. â€œAn ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure,â€? Attorney General Jepsen said. â€œBy becoming informed and taking simple steps, consumers can help ensure than their personal information is protected â€“ be it when filing their tax documents in the coming months or when just going about a day-to-day routine.â€? Commissioner Sullivan also thanked Governor Malloy and the State Legislature for action during the recent spe-
cial session to support a new anti-tax fraud initiative proposed by the Department. "Some taxpayers may experience a small delay in refunds and some additional security review but before getting their refunds because of our improved anti-fraud screening. But I know our taxpayers will agree that any inconvenience is more than outweighed by preventing fraudulent refunds from being stolen by criminals.â€? Attorney General Jepsen and Commissioner Sullivan also urged federal and state taxpayers to file early. Said Sullivan, â€œMore and more taxpayers who delay are discovering that criminals using stolen identity information have already beat them to their refunds. Filing early is one way taxpayers can help themselves not to be the victims of identity theft and tax fraud.â€? For more information on protecting yourself from identity theft and secure income tax filing through the stateâ€™s Taxpayer Service Center, visit the new identity theft web page at www.ct.gov/DRS/identitytheft.
Administration Creates Stateâ€™s First Veterans Cabinet to Coordinate Services
HARTFORD â€“ Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman today unveiled a new state website created to give military veterans one-stop access to the wide range of veteransâ€™ services and benefits offered by the state and federal government agencies. The website â€“ veterans.ct.gov â€“ will link veterans and their families to other
state and federal agencies offering services in areas such as employment and job training, health care and education. The announcement was made at Tunxis Community Collegeâ€™s Veterans Oasis Center, a dedicated space on campus for veterans and active military service men and women to study, network and socialize as they integrate into the college experi-
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ence. â€œSince becoming governor, one of my greatest honors has been to interact with service men and women both when they leave for active duty and when they return,â€? Malloy said. â€œWith two wars winding down, we have a responsibility to make sure that state government is in a position to honor their service. Creating a one-stop resource for veterans to access benefits and services is a small but important step in that effort.â€? For example, the website will contain information about the governorâ€™s directive to agency heads to make every effort to interview qualified veterans for approved positions where appropriate. Malloy also announced the creation of the 14-member Governorâ€™s Veterans Cabinet, which they will co-chair. Composed of relevant agency commissioners and other executive branch representatives, the cabinet will meet periodically to report progress and create strategies to improve delivery of services to veterans and their families. The cabinet also will seek input from veterans and private military-support organizations. The members of the Governorâ€™s Veterans Cabinet are:
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Governor Dannel P. Malloy â€“ Co-Chair Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman â€“ Co-Chair Adjutant General, Connecticut National Guard Commissioner, Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Department of Labor Commissioner, Department Mental Health & Addiction Services Commissioner, Department Revenue Services Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services Commissioner, Department of Public Health Commissioner, Department of Social Services Commissioner, Department of Banking President, Board of Regents Executive Director, Office of Military Affairs In April, Malloy issued a directive to the heads of each state agency instructing them to consider hiring and recruiting veterans who have recently returned from military service or will be returning in the near future and are looking for employment.
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(860) 684-1644 January 2013 North Central News