In tax-related fraud, a criminal files a tax return in your name, using your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number. Here we reveal some of the most common tactics and fake documents fraudsters use to trick people.
Here are some of the signs you might be a victim of financial theft:
- You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return you did not file.
- You can’t e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security number.
- You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
- You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
- You get an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled even though you took no action.
- You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didn’t work for.
If you suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, report it to the IRS.
How to get an Identity Protection PIN for more protection
Starting in mid-January 2021, all taxpayers can apply for an Identity Protection PIN on the IRS page.
The IP PIN is a 6-digit number that offers additional protection for your Social Security number on your tax return. Use this PIN each time you file your federal taxes for an extra layer of protection.
To get an IP PIN, sign in to your IRS account.
If you don’t have an IRS account, you must create one, providing the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
- Tax filing status
- Current address
For more details about the IP PIN, check out the IRS FAQ page.