Tags: IRS | irs | identity thieves | tax refund

How Do Identity Thieves Steal Your IRS Tax Refund?

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 12:38 PM

Computer hackers steal millions of social security numbers from Americans each year, and use them in a variety of nefarious schemes, including stealing an IRS tax refund.

Criminals need only a person's name and social security number to commit fraud. Once obtained, they input bogus income numbers on a phony W-2 form and claim a refund check. The ensuing violation leads to months of frustration for the victim, as they wait out an IRS investigation and hope to eventually receiving their rightful check.

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Stopping this heinous activity remains a top priority for the IRS, and the organization has expanded efforts for the 2014 filing season. More than 3,000 employees are assigned to identity theft-related issues, and more than 35,000 employees to recognize identity theft indicators and assist those who have become victims, according to the IRS website.

As a result of these efforts, the IRS has thwarted 14.6 million suspicious returns from 2011 through November 2013, and saved more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.

The agency has broadened a nationwide program that permits law enforcement agencies to secure tax return data for tracking identity thieve, according to the IRS. With nine states participating in the program's first year, more than 1,500 waiver requests were received.

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The IRS is also working with many financial institutions to uncover identity thieves and prevent faulty refunds from being issued.

Other information that can be utilized by an identity thief include credit card and bank account numbers, mailing address, driver's license number and health insurance information. The popularity of the internet has assisted the criminals, because so many people use online services for banking, shopping paying bills.

Citing the Taxpayer Advocate Service's annual report to Congress, CNN Money reported that the average wait time for a tax identity theft resolution up to 180 days, or close to six months. In some cases, it takes years.

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Computer hackers steal millions of social security numbers from Americans each year, and use them in a variety of nefarious schemes, including stealing an IRS tax refund.
irs, identity thieves, tax refund
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2015-38-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 12:38 PM
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