Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Be Aware Of This Mistake By Charities

According to Identity Finder, several nonprofit organizations have inadvertently published more than half a million Social Security numbers in the public domain in the last decade.

Identity Finder analyzed more than 3.8 million tax returns from non-profit organizations, and found that 630,000 Social Security Numbers are currently living online from filings dating back to 2001. The report says that these individuals now face the prospect of living the rest of their lives at risk for identity theft and fraud.

Nonprofits have to file Form 990 for each person they give money to every year. These forms contain the recipient’s personal information in many cases, and are legally required to be made available to the public. 

Identity Finder reports that more than 130,000 nonprofits have filed these forms since 2001 for money given to high school and college scholarship recipients, board members, employees and in rare cases, even donors, that include their Social Security Numbers instead of their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

When Identity Finder notified the IRS of the problem, the agency reportedly said “there is low risk of SSNs being improperly included in new Form 990s filings,” the report states. The agency also reportedly promised to “aggressively reach out to remind exempt organizations not to include SSNs or other unneeded personal information on the filings,” in the future. (source)

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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