Insane: IRS awards $7.25M fraud-prevention contract to Equifax

Equifax is a consumer credit reporting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, the oldest of the three largest U.S. credit agencies (the other two are Experian and TransUnion). Founded in 1899, Equifax gathers and maintains information on over 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide.

On July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that some time in May, someone(s) hacked into its online databases and stole the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers of 143 million consumers in the United States — data that security experts have described as the crown jewels for identity thieves.

But Equifax kept this discovery quiet for 39 days before finally informing the public about it on September 7, 2017, admitting that 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers are also breached, as well as “certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.”

After the company made known the breach, Equifax issued confusing instructions to consumers, which contained language that appeared aimed at limiting customers’ ability to sue. The company also tweeted out a link to a fake website instead of its own security site.

The Justice Department has also opened a criminal investigation into three Equifax executives — John Gamble, Rodolfo Ploder and Joseph Loughran — who sold almost $1.8 million of their company stock before the breach was publicly disclosed. See “Equifax executives sold $2M of their company shares 37 days before informing public of data breach“.

And yet, the IRS has seen fit to award Equifax a $7.25 million fraud-prevention contract — $7.25 million of taxpayers’ money!

Steven Overly and Nancy Scola report for Politico, Oct. 3, 2017, that a contract award for Equifax’s data services was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database Sept. 30 — the final day of the fiscal year.

According to the no-bid contract, the IRS will pay Equifax $7.25 million to help prevent fraud at the IRS by assisting in verifying taxpayer identity even as Congress is investigating Equifax for its massive security breach that exposed the personal information of as many as 145.5 million Americans.

A no-bid contract means that the IRS deems Equifax to be a “sole source order” — the only company capable of providing the service. The contract award was issued to prevent a lapse in identity checks while IRS officials resolve a dispute over a separate contract.

The IRS, which has suffered its own embarrassing data breaches as well as a tidal wave of tax-identity fraud, has taken steps to improve its outdated information technology with the help of $106.4 million that Congress earmarked for cybersecurity upgrades and identity theft prevention efforts. In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) questioned the agency’s security systems and said he was concerned that the IRS lacked the technology necessary “to safeguard the integrity of our tax administration system.”

Why is this Obama appointee still the IRS Commissioner?

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted the IRS decision:

  • Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement: “In the wake of one of the most massive data breaches in a decade, it’s irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed,”
  • Senate Finance Comittee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said: “The Finance Committee will be looking into why Equifax was the only company to apply for and be rewarded with this. I will continue to take every measure possible to prevent taxpayer data from being compromised as this arrangement moves forward.”

The IRS defended its decision in a statement:

“Following an internal review and an on-site visit with Equifax, the IRS believes the service Equifax provided does not pose a risk to IRS data or systems. At this time, we have seen no indications of tax fraud related to the Equifax breach, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

~Eowyn

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12 responses to “Insane: IRS awards $7.25M fraud-prevention contract to Equifax

  1. Sounds like a “Pay-Off” of some kind.. “Hush-Money”??? Did the other Credit-Check Companies even know that this $7.250,000.oo “Gift” was available..?? = But “What-the-Heck” = it only amounts to $0.05c per Identity Stolen.. Save all your purchase tickets & match them to your Monthly Statements. Watch this Very Closely.. Dispute any irregularities..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Come on. It was a contract let by the federal government, what do they do well? HA. Nice piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Equifax executives just sold our info and now Koskinen, IRS, is going to reward them with a FRAUD PREVENTION no bid contract. Have these people lost their minds? Koskinen lied to Congress during Lois Lerner’s crime – so why hasn’t he been fired? Thought he would be one of the first to exit.

    kommonsentsjane

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Kevin J Lankford

    The i.r.s. is nothing but the strong arm collection agency of the world bank criminal cartel. If congress was serious about honoring their Constitutional responsibility they would establish the U.S.’s own printing facility instead of the false front federal reserve from which they claim to take out loans which we can not even cover the interests on, there by being robbed of true value for the use of worthless paper.

    Just by congress printing our own currency the so called “nation debt” would magically vanish.

    Like

  5. Hard to argue with that. That is PRECISELY what it is. They “create” “money” out of thin air and charge interest for “borrowing” it. Then they call in their notes and use the IRS as a collection agency.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes, the federal reserve Bank of England known in the United States as the IRS is quite the collection agency isn’t it. And all 12 branches of the Federal Reserve Bank of England in the United States are surrogates which fleece the American taxpayers with full government immunity. Hopefully one of these days they will pay back every penny they have stolen from us with interest and all of the swamp critters will dry out in the hot sand that is left.

    Like

  7. Hated to even read the title of this article………….

    Like

  8. Nothing rewards abject failure quite like liberalism.

    After all, it is goobermint we are talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Seems about right with the IRS. Kickbacks anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The inmates are running the asylum now! & it’s because e erroneous just kept quiet about everything for too long. Now it’s too late to stop it. Expect more dodgy insane discisions from govt & their corporate cronies world wide. Next stop for the sane people of this world? FEMA camps!
    Better speak up while you still can coz these people are going to spend an eternity in Hell. You don’t wanna b hanging around them fir that long.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Saturday Shorts – 10-7-17 | Designs on the Truth

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