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Tag Archive for Identity Theft

Immediate Steps to Take If Your Identity Is Stolen

Kazim Qasim

A recent study confirmed that over 16 million people were the victims of identity theft in the span of one year in America alone, which resulted in $16.8 billion in stolen money. Identity theft is dangerous to your wallet and to your credit. Identity thieves use your information to take out loans, obtain credit cards, make purchases, get apartment leases and much more. Since these items are acquired with your credentials, these people don’t bother paying bills on time or at all. In the vast majority of cases, when your identity is stolen you’ll be held responsible for all the outstanding debt.

Warning Signs Of Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission has outlined some helpful warning signs to know if your identity may have been stolen. These include:

  • Unfamiliar bank activity on your bank statements
  • Collection calls from debtors you don’t recognize
  • Merchants suddenly declining your check purchases
  • Unusual credit report activity
  • Letters that you’ve been denied credit when you did not apply
  • Bills for services you didn’t sign up for
  • Unusual lack of mail
  • Medical claim rejections
  • IRS notice that your refund was already disbursed
  • Published news that a company has had their data hacked
  • Your wallet has recently been lost or misplaced

Read more

IRS Urges Small Businesses: Protect IT Systems From Identity Theft

WASHINGTON – The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are warning small businesses to be on-guard against a growing wave of identity theft attempts against employers.

Small business identity theft is big business for identity thieves. When businesses and their employees have their identities stolen, their sensitive information can be used to open credit card accounts or file fraudulent tax returns for bogus refunds. Read more

You Thought Your Information Was Safe With The IRS

Barry Fowler

It looks as if taxpayers have to be wary and skeptical even when they send their personal information to the IRS. This government agency is supposed to be trusted with our personal information. Especially at a time when criminals are posing as IRS agents over the telephone, through email, through our employers human resources departments and through schools you would think the IRS itself would be safe. But no!

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New Tax Filing Security Protocols

Annette Nellen

New Security Step – IR-2016-124 (9/22/16) – The IRS alerted people filing an extended return electronically for 2015 (due 10/17/16), that they likely would be asked to enter their AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) for 2014. The purpose is to help properly identify the taxpayer. The information release reminds people how to order a tax transcript from the IRS should they not have it.

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Seven Individuals Sentenced To Prison For Online Fraud Scams

William Byrnes

Seven defendants were sentenced for their roles in online fraud schemes involving counterfeit checks, “mystery shopper” websites and work-from-home scams. Funso Hassan, 27, of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Anthony Shane Jeffers, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee, each pleaded guilty on April 12, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and theft of government property and one count of use of mail and an interstate facility to distribute proceeds of a racketeering activity.

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IRS Releases Dirty Dozen Scam List: Don’t be a Victim

Each year, people fall prey to tax scams. That’s why the IRS sends a list of its annual “Dirty Dozen.” Stay safe and be informed – don’t become a victim.

If you get involved in illegal tax scams, you can lose money or face stiff penalties, interest and even criminal prosecution. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be on the lookout for these scams: Read more

New Developments – March 2016

NEW DEVELOPMENTS­ March 2016

Obama Care Penalty Exemptions

For taxpayers who didn’t have health care insurance in 2015, they may be eligible for waiver of the penalty which is $325 person ($162.50 for each child under age 18). Exemptions are for:

(1) taxpayers who can’t afford to pay the premium. This applies if the Read more

Tax Related Identity Theft

This past year, Identity Theft has become such a buzz word, that it needs to be revisited on my blog. Between scamming crooks on the phone from off-shore based call centers, hackers believed to be from Russia raiding the IRS website and some more hackers from China getting into the national data-base & managing to steal classified information of hundreds & thousands of federal employees, protecting one’s identity has become a top priority for all.

I wrote about Protecting Your Identity here earlier.

According to today’s news, the scammer who took millions with fake IRS calls from gullible taxpayers was sentenced to 14 years in prison. To many, getting a phone call from Read more

My Halloween Nightmare – How I Almost Lost My Identity And Money To A Fake IRS Agent

With Halloween coming up, it is just not the neighbor kids looking forward to trick or treat but also people pretending that they are the Internal Revenue Service looking to steal your identity and scam you for your money.

Listen to the story of Arati who works in New York City and immigrated to the U.S. from India. Arati received a call from a Brian Cruz who called her house early in the morning before Arati left for work. He left his telephone number, name and noted he was calling from the IRS. Arati put the number in her cell phone without searching for it online first. After all it had a 202 area code which is Washington D.C. so she figured it had to be official. Once she got into her car she called, and the man who picked up the call answered that this was the investigations bureau for the IRS. Arati asked for Cruz, but he Read more

With All The Identity Theft Going On With IRS, Maybe e-filing Isn’t Worth It

Identity theft cost the Internal Revenue Service $5.2 billion in tax year 2013, according to an analysis from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. While the IRS estimates it prevented $24.2 billion in fraudulent refunds, there are still thousands of taxpayers whose tax refunds were delayed because a criminal beat them to the joyous task of filing tax returns.

Regardless of the fact that it’s not the best budgeting strategy, people often rely on their tax refunds to pay bills. When an identity thief files a fraudulent return which is usually done through the IRS e-filing system using someone’s Social Security number, that person won’t know about the fraud till they attempt to file themselves, and instead of the speedy refund they may have been counting on, they may have no idea when they’ll get their Read more

Better Identity Theft Efforts – S. 2736

On 7/31/14, Senators Wyden and Hatch proposed a comprehensive identity theft bill to reduce identity theft related to federal tax filings. This addresses a serious issue. Individuals should not have to worry that federal tax filings may lead to theft and costly use of their tax identification number. While tax reform bills have also included provisions to lessen identity theft, such proposals should not have to wait for a full tax reform bill to be enacted (which will likely take until at least 2016).  The IRS has also ramped up its efforts to reduce identify theft, but needs more assistance.

S. 2736, Tax Refund Theft Prevention Act of 2014, includes new rules for the following areas: Read more

IRS Issues Criminal Investigation Report

Investigations, Prosecutions and Convictions are up, while Agent Resources were Cut

The Internal Revenue Service released its annual Criminal Investigation report today concerning fiscal year 2013. The Criminal Investigation Division initiated over 5,000 cases and recommended over 4,300 for prosecution; the conviction rate of those cases prosecuted was 93 percent. This is particularly impressive since the Internal Revenue Service agent resources decreased by over five percent. Identity theft was a key area of focus for the Criminal Investigation Division.

For more information, view the IRS Press Release. Read more