Think your identity is safe? Think again!
These days it seems like the entire world is trying to get your information. Everyone from websites to mall vendors wants your social security number and other information that helps secure your identity. Because of this stolen identity tax fraud is on the rise, it is now the most widespread tax fraud around.
Here is how it works when someone steals your identity, they file a fraudulent tax return in your name before you get the chance to file a tax return for yourself. Criminals then collect a fraudulent tax refund check from the IRS. When you go to file your tax return, the IRS will show that someone already registered with your identity.
It seems like a very simple plan. Unsecured Wi-fi and people not taking enough care to secure their information both on and offline have helped ensured its popularity.
In 2014, the IRS estimated it sent out three million in fraudulent tax refund checks and this cost taxpayer at least $5.2 billion! However, if you think you may be a victim of stolen identity tax fraud don’t worry!
There are some vital steps to take if you become a victim stolen identity tax fraud that will save you a lot of headache down the line.
Don’t let a stolen identity stand between you and your tax refund! Take these steps!
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records these are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- If you are a victim of a stolen identity thieves may have financial or credit accounts opened without your permission. At Tax Pros Plus we can help you get a handle on this, especially if you have a complicated financial life.
- If you think thieves are using your social security number specifically rather than other personal information. The IRS recommends these additional steps.
- Respond immediately to any IRS
- Complete IRS Identity Theft
- If your e-filed return rejects because of a duplicate filing under your social security number or you are instructed to do so. Use a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then attach the form to your return and mail according to instructions.
It is also important to note that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by sending an email, text, or social media messages requesting personal or financial information. Knowing this can help avoid tax fraud in the first place Should you get an email that claims to be from the IRS, do not reply or click on any links. Instead, you should report it to the IRS immediately!