With April 17 being Tax Day, some Hoosiers will discover they are victims of tax identity theft. This occurs when someone files a fraudulent tax return on another person’s behalf, resulting in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) potentially rejecting the return filed by the appropriate person.
A victim of this type of scam should:
1) Contact the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) via IndianaConsumer.com and file an ID theft complaint. Our office can help you navigate the next steps in the process.
2) File a police report documenting the identity theft.
3) Contact the IRS via identitytheft.gov.
4) Immediately request copies of your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Look them over immediately for any signs of suspicious activity. Place alerts or freezes on your reports if you suspect an identity theft problem.
As of last week, OAG has received 21 complaints in 2018 for this type of scam. The OAG received 165 such complaints in 2017 and 231 in 2016.
Another tax-related scam occurs when someone pretending to work for the IRS calls and threatens you with jail time, arrest or fines if you don’t pay your “tax debts.” Remember that no IRS agent will ever call and ask a taxpayer to place funds on gift cards or other prepaid cards to pay taxes and fees. Further, no legitimate U.S. Treasury or IRS official will demand that payments be made into another person’s account via Western Union, MoneyGram, bank wire transfers or bank deposits for any debt to the IRS or U.S. Treasury. To further protect yourself from these types of scams, do not answer unwanted calls; do not give out personal information over the phone; hang up on suspected IRS impostors and call the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 to determine whether the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you. Finally, report such incidents to the Federal Trade Commission and the Indiana Attorney General.