Filed under "Security Tips"
Tax-related identity theft is easy, lucrative and low-risk...and the thief often has cash in hand before the crime has even been detected. It happens when crooks use your Social Security number to file taxes before you and steal your refund. The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Report showed a 43 percent growth in this type of crime, and the IRS reported a 60 percent increase in suspected tax return fraud for the 2012 tax season.
Thieves use two common methods for tax-related identity fraud. Under the first option, the thief fraudulently files a tax return in the victim’s name and claims the refund. Victims usually find out when they receive a notice from the IRS that more than one tax return was filed in their name.
In another scenario, identity thieves get paid for work while using the victim's identity on tax forms. In this instance, the thief would owe money at tax time, and the victim would be stuck with the bill. Victims discover the problem when their tax forms indicate they received wages from an unknown employer for work they have not completed.
Follow the tips below to protect yourself from this quickly spreading threat:
This article has been provided courtesy of IDentity Theft 911, a partner for the IBA (Iowa Bankers Association) Bank Club Program.
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