Did someone take your tax refund?
Monday, April 28, 2014
The tax filing deadline has passed and many taxpayers are now eagerly awaiting their refunds. But what if an identity thief filed taxes in your name and already has your refund?
Identity thieves use stolen Social Security Numbers to file fraudulent returns and claim other people’s refunds. Legitimate tax filers usually don’t know that their SSN is being misused until the IRS notifies them about the problem.
Our Consumer Protection Division is hearing from dozens North Carolinians each week who are victims of this form of identity theft. Several doctors in North Carolina and other states have recently reported being victims of this scam
. In most cases, the legitimate taxpayers are able to work with the IRS to straighten out their tax returns and get their refund.
If this happens to you, take the following steps:
Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit immediately at 1-800-908-4490.
Check your credit reports for any unauthorized activity. You can get one free credit report per year from each of the three national credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Request a fraud alert from any of the three national credit bureaus.
Consider a security freeze to stop access to new credit in your name. NC residents can get security freezes for free online.
Consider filing an ID theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, especially if there’s been suspicious activity on your credit report.