The threat of your
identity being stolen is real. There are fraudsters that have developed ways to
steal identities in order to file fraudulent tax returns and get refund money.
This tax crime is becoming more and more widespread because it can be conducted
remotely and anonymously.
Scammers depend on
numbers and luck. They file a number of fraudulent tax returns, hoping that the
IRS will approve at least some of them. The IRS, on the other hand, has
increased its security protocols to prevent fraudulent tax returns from being
To protect their
identities, taxpayers should keep their Social Security Number, filing status,
and personal information secure at all times. However, if they fall victim to a
tax fraudster, they must immediately:
- File a complaint with the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.identitytheft.gov or use their
hotline number 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261.
- Place a fraud alert on
your credit records by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus:
Equifax - www.Equifax.com - 1-800-525-6285
- www.Experian.com - 1-888-397-3742
- www.TransUnion.com - 1-800-680-7289
- Inform your financial
institution about the identity theft to prevent outside access to your funds
and prohibit unauthorized transactions.
- If you are a victim of
a phishing scam, you can contact the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their
toll-free number 1-800-366-4484. If you contacted the IRS and did not get a
resolution, you may contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at
It is vital that you contact
the appropriate agencies as soon as you discover the theft, especially your
bank, credit cards, the IRS and the FTC. The IRS provides a unique PIN to
victims of identity theft to help them protect their information in future