I just read an interesting article on the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) website. It discussed two scams that identity thieves are perpertuating to steal from unsuspecting taxpayers.
The first scam involves phishing, which many of us are familiar with. The basic priciple of phishing is that the fraudster sends you an email that looks like it is from someone that you do business with, typically a bank. It ask you to login and takes you to a website that looks identical to the one you are expecting and once you login on their website, they have your username, password, and access to everything underneath. In this particular scam, identity thieves are posing as the Internal Revenue Service and are basically trying to obtain your personal information for their less than honest purposes.
Some important notes on emails from the IRS:
1) The IRS nevers offers refund through email
2) The IRS NEVER sends out unsolicited emails to taxpayers – they always use U.S. Mail to distribute unsolicited notices
Another fraud issue facing taxpayers is someone obtaining their Social Security Number and using it to file for a refund before the actual owner of that Social Security Number files for themselves. In many cases, they visit quickie tax shops where they can get a refund on the spot. Then when the true owner of the social securiy numbers files their tax return, the IRS kicks it back as a duplicate return!
You can read the entire article on the ACFE website.