Tax assistance program hacked
January 30, 2020 | View PDF
The Community Action Partnership of Kern reported that approximately 512 records of CAPK Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program clients’ tax information have been obtained by two former Volunteer Income Tax Assistance employees.
The individuals were able to get tax records by a third-party database on multiple occasions between October 2019 and December 2019.
This activity was discovered by CAPK staff on Dec. 23, and both employees were immediately terminated.
Their access to the database was immediately halted and an investigation launched, beginning with a report to the IRS, FBI and Bakersfield Police Department.
“The hacking was discovered in the normal course of work,” Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator James Burger said. “We are still continuing our investigation.”
Burger was asked what safeguards were being put in place to prevent this from occurring again and his response was that – since he is not a “tech guy” – he can only report that CAPK staff is working on how security can be increased.
CAPK believes that the information that was accessed by the two individuals has not been used for any illegal purposes.
Community Action Partnership of Kern is Kern County’s official anti-poverty agency. Its mission is to provide and advocate for resources that will empower members of the community to become more self-sufficient.
The CAPK Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides no-cost tax preparation services to more than 5,000 individuals and families each year with the help of IRS-trained and certified volunteers.
“This investigation is ongoing,” Burger said.
For more information, contact James Burger at 661-336-5236, ext. 1105 or by email at [email protected]