With identity theft related fraud making the news nearly every day during this tax season, it’s not surprising that it topped the list of investigative priorities for the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations for the 2015 fiscal year.
Generally, the identity thief will use a stolen SSN to file a forged tax return and attempt to get a fraudulent refund early in the filing season. By filing the fraudulent tax return early, the identity thief usually receives the refund before the victim sends his or her tax return, and the IRS processes it.
Thanks to paperless e-filing, this scam is easier to pull off than ever before. Thieves can simply make up phony wages or other income, submit the information electronically and receive the fraudulent refund via mail or direct deposit within a month. The IRS keeps records of earned wages and other types of taxable income reported by taxpayers’ employers and other organizations. However, the IRS doesn’t match these records to information submitted electronically by identity thieves until several months after it issues refund checks. By the time the IRS tells the victim that it has received another tax form in his or her name, the thief has cashed the refund check and is long gone with the money. The identity thief wins, and the U.S. Treasury and the victimized taxpayer are the losers.
HOW TO PROECT YOURSELF
- The IRS does not send emails or text messages so do not open or respond if you get one.
- The IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment, nor will it call about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill. If you have no reason to believe you owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.
- File your taxes early so thieves do not have time to use your identification
WHAT TO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE A VICTIM
- Continue to file your Income Tax Return before April 15th but file via the U.S. Postal Service
- Complete and submit the 14039 IRS Form
- Open any U.S. Postal Mail your receive from the IRS
- If you have an identity protection service, call your service provider to see what restoration services they provide.
If your identity protection service DOES provide a licensed private investigator you will only need to contact them so they can start the restoration process for you.
If your identity protection service does NOT provide a licensed private investigator, you will need to:
- File a report with the local police.
- File a complaint with the FTC
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records
- Contact your financial institutions and verify your accounts have not been tampered with
- Verify your current credit card accounts do not have any unapproved charges.
- Verify no new cards have been opened in your name.
- Depending on the depth of fraud you uncover, you may need to contact an attorney
If your id protection service provider does not offer a licensed private investigator to provide full service restoration contact us at Kuderer Financial. We partner with Kroll the number one restoration service provider in the world. They will personally contact all needed agencies to restore your identity; in addition to resolving disputes