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Are you aware of the Identity Theft risks that can occur during tax season? I wasn’t until I recently began reading articles written by Identity Guard on the potential risks. What should you know and what can you do about tax season Identity Theft?
1. In New Report Blasts IRS Handling of Identity Theft Cases, I learned that “the IRS has failed to provide swift and effective assistance to victims of identity theft even as the number of crimes continues to soar.” In 2012 the IRS received almost 500,000 cases of I.D. theft. “The impact on victims is significant. More than 75 percent of taxpayers filing returns are due refunds, and are not paid until the IRS fully resolves a case. That now takes more than 6 months.”
2. In Identity Theft Crooks Are Making Millions Filing False Tax Returns, I saw that “in the 2011 tax year, the IRS has detected 938,664 returns involving identity theft, claiming a total of $6.5 billion in refunds.”
3. In Your identity stolen? Don’t file the wrong form with the IRS, I discovered the many IRS employees have been recommended the wrong form to individuals that call in about Identity theft problems. Yes, they accidentally recommend the form dealing with tax fraud, instead of Identity theft fraud. Be careful.
4. In Protect Your Identity at Tax Time, I learned why tax season is prime for Identity thieves. There is also a great list of 10 tips on how you can protect your identity.
5. In The IRS Is Paying Out Billions to Fraudulent Filers — Many Using Stolen Children’s Social Security Numbers, I saw that “fraudulent returns fall generally under one of two categories: returns that purport to be from an actual taxpayer claiming a refund to be sent to an address or mailbox controlled by the scammer or directly deposited into a bank account that has been set up for the purpose of receiving false refunds which are then quickly liquidated; or a return with a made up name using a stolen Social Security number — often a child’s stolen identity.”
The biggest problem for families when a child’s identity is stolen is that it can often go undiscovered for years. Often it isn’t discovered until the child applies for a job. One way to help protect your kids from Identity Theft and discover any fraud immediately is to sign up for the Identity Guard kID Sure program. Kid’s IDs can be easily stolen not only at tax time but year round in many ways. kID Sure is an easy way to track your child or teen’s identity.
Full Disclosure: This service and the book Bankrupt at Birth were provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.