Prosecutors Say Two Women Used Fake Craigslist Ads In Identity-Fraud Tax Scheme


A major identity-theft scheme in New York began to unravel when victims complained of poor credit scores and trouble receiving tax refunds because they had apparently already been filed.

The two suspects were indicted for allegedly using identities stolen via Craigslist ads to file false tax returns and take out loans.

The women lured victims from 30 states by asking for personal and financial information in ads offering jobs and new apartments.

After answering fake Craigslist ads, the victims had their stolen names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers used to request more than $500,000 in fraudulent tax refunds between February 2010 and October 2011, according to the Nassau County DA’s Office.

According to prosecutors, search warrants executed at the defendants’ homes and rental mailboxes uncovered several computers, hundreds of documents, and notebooks with detailed records of the victims’ personal information and tax refund amounts, with several entries marked “BIG FAT REFUND.”

The prosecutors also state the search found credit cards and checkbooks in names other than the defendants, as well as credit card purchases of luxury goods.


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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.