The IRS paid 5.8 Billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year, making it the most common form of identity theft reported.
Tax related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.
Here are Warning Signs:
Not able to file your return electronically because IRS already has received a return with your SSN
A letter from the IRS indicating two returns have been filed with your SSN
Receipt of a W-2 from an employer that you did not work for
If you see any of these warning signs, contact the IRS right away. Proceed with your return, then you can begin to investigate the problem. It’s important to file on time. And make sure you open all mail from the IRS.
The IRS does not contact anyone by phone, email or text to request information or payment. IRS will never contact you to ask you to wire money or purchase pre-paid debit cards to make a tax payment by email.
See the Lemont website under the identity theft tab for more tips on Identity Theft prevention and tools.
Examples of Scams: you receive an Email notification to update your IRS e-file and the link to a fake website that looks like the IRS website; IRS impersonator calls and requests personal information, sometimes becoming quite demanding and belligerent on the phone, threatening jail or deportation. The caller may know a lot of information about you. Another scam happens when a caller (IRS Impersonator) asks for your Credit Card information in order to load your refund onto the Credit Card, then will use your CC information to charge items.