Nick Robie, a senior at North Miami Beach Senior High School, said his identity was apparently stolen using school records and taxes were filed in his name. He and his mother, Allison, spoke about what happened. NBC 6 reported previously on another student who had her identity stolen, Lesley Dunn, and spoke with North Miami Beach Police Det. Craig Catlin about an identity theft and tax fraud scheme carried out at multiple schools.
A high school senior said his identity was apparently stolen using school records and taxes were filed in his name.
"A letter came in the mail saying someone tried to use the Social Security – my stolen Social Security number – to file a tax return," said Nick Robie.
The Miami-Dade School Board says it has halted the problem but the student's family says the letter from the IRS came Monday night. This comes just one month after NBC 6 reported that federal agents and local police stopped a gang after they used student information to file a massive number of fraudulent returns.
The school board says it has pulled out all stops from the very beginning in an effort to protect students' Social Security numbers and other information, and changed its procedures to protect students' info.
But the student at North Miami Beach Senior High School is now very concerned after opening the mail. His family said the IRS letter to them shows this is a problem that's still going on and other families could be in the same boat.
"It's scary. I know I am going to have to worry about more stuff like this," Robie said.
Robie wonders what will happen now when he goes to get a credit card or a loan after graduation. His mother, Allison, is also concerned.
She said he had already filed his federal tax return for his part-time job so they knew there was trouble when the IRS letter came.
Another student from Palmetto Senior High School previously had her identity stolen.
"My information was exposed (through) the county schools and my identity was stolen," said Lesley Dunn.
Dunn is a former Palmetto student that NBC 6 spoke with in early April. Police then said that the gang called the North Miami Boyz used student information they obtained to file at least $1.6 million in returns in an identity theft and tax fraud scheme. Police indicated at that time that at least 1,000 students were victims at multiple schools.
“Every single victim that we came across was either a current or former student of Miami-Dade public schools,” North Miami Beach Police Det. Craig Catlin said. “So there is a point of compromise with the Miami-Dade public school system.”
It appears the trouble at the North Miami school goes back at least 16 months. That's when the then-principal wrote a letter to parents. It told them there was a serious breach of sensitive information and that the emergency contact cards with the data were removed from the attendance office.
"Unfortunately, I foresee this for the next 6-10 years or onwards. Until whoever is the perpetrator of this crime is caught," Allison Robie said.
On Tuesday, the school system said it has totally revamped the emergency contact cards and Social Security numbers aren't even on the cards now.
So the school board thinks that Robie is a victim under the old system, before it removed the Social Security numbers from the contact cards.
Police said they were still trying to get to the bottom of who exactly it was that gave the gang members the student information.
And as far as who filed a fraudulent return for Robbie a short time ago, it wasn't the North Miami Boyz. They're all in federal prison.
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