Turbo Tax Fraud

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Sunday evening, February 12, 2012, I reached home from work and settled down to put together all of my paperwork to finally do my taxes.  I’ve completed my own taxes since I was 18 years old and tonight would be no different.  For the past three years I used Turbo Tax the online service that so nicely walks you through each step of the process, assures you get the maximum refund possible, and electronically files your taxes for you at little or no cost.  I also liked the fact that a lot of my personal information was already stored with Turbo Tax from previous years and much of this information was auto-populated onto this years return – without me needing to re-enter it.

I gathered all of my paperwork, logged in to Turbo Tax and began the process.  It took me just a little over an hour and I was happy to see that I would be getting back somewhere close to $5,000 this year.  I was very pleased and was asked to evaluate the service on a pop-up survey just before submitting my return electronically.  After giving Turbo Tax an excellent 10 on the survey, I was then asked why I gave them such a high score and was prompted to enter that information into a comment box.  I replied with “I gave Turbo Tax such a great score because they are efficient, easy to use and I get the maximum return quickly”.

At this point I was happy as could be.  I electronically signed my return, selected direct deposit (my bank account information was already there from last year), and then chose “e-file”.  All I had to do was hit continue or submit (can’t remember which) and my tax return was on it’s way to the illustrious IRS for fulfillment.

In approximately 15 sTurbo Tax e file duplicate tax return messageeconds the following message appeared on my screen:  Your Transmission Didn’t Go Through – We could not e-file you return for the following reason:  Duplicate Social Security Number:  A tax return with the same Social Security number has already been submitted – in other words, it appears you’re trying to e-file the same return twice.  If you need to change this return, you’ll need to file an amended return on paper, by mail.

The first thing I thought was “WTF” (we all know what that means I hope) (if not, it means what the f*ck)?  Then I thought, “Something must be wrong with my computer”.  So I resubmitted it.  Guess what?  I received the same message.   I thought I was losing my mind, I mean hell, I would definitely remember submitting my tax return.  I know I’m always running around like a chicken with my head cut off but could I have submitted a tax return and forgot about it?  Not!

Soooo….where do we all turn when we run into some sh*t we know nothing about these days – Google and Facebook right?  So the first thing I do is post a message on my Facebook page indicating what just happened to me and low and behold someone chimes in telling me their story and how it happened to them, what they went through, how long it took them to get their tax return money back and this last key factor – they all used Turbo Tax last year or in the past.

Phase II – I begin to Google tax fraud, stolen tax returns, etc., and Turbo Tax keeps popping up everywhere.  The next day I go to work and half of my co-workers have either experience the same fraud or know at least two people who it has happened to and guess what?  One hundred percent that’s (100% percent) had all used Turbo Tax – CoinkiDink (my version of coincidence).

Now I can’t sit here and research this entire situation all day because I have work and homework to do.  But I can tell you that I after talking to the IRS I was told to report the incident to the police, contact the FTC, fill out an affidavit and submit it along with my tax returns by snail mail and then they will begin to investigate it and if I’m lucky the soonest I “might” possibly get my money back is an “estimated” six months.  By the way, everyone I spoke to said it took them at least a year to get their money back.

All that being said I have a few questions:

  1. Why is the government sending out money so easily to people with no proof whatsoever that it belongs to them?  Hell, you need identification just to buy a pack of cigarettes but not to receive thousands of dollars of someones hard earned money??
  2. Are we going to earn interest on this lost money that we are due if we even get it back at all?
  3. Did Turbo Tax have a severe breach of security or were they severely hacked and are somehow keeping it all under wraps?
  4. What are Turbo Tax’s hiring policies?  This sounds like an inside job to me “I’m just saying”

Almost forgot, while looking on Google I found a very informative website that directed me as to what steps to take once you have become a victim of Turbo Tax fraud by Googling:  Someone Stole My Social Security Number To File Taxes. What Should I Do?

Feel free to chime in at any time and tell your story!  Thanks

 

9 comments

  1. Aicha

    Got to love how the Federal Government and Media has kept this one under wraps… (very little said)
    So – this is in Florida for now…
    What does it take before the consumer is made aware of this, the entire US?..

  2. BayouBill

    I got the same Turbo Tax response, “Your Transmission Didn’t Go Through – We could not e-file you return. . . etc.” The thing that upsets me is that the E-file return is electronically signed with a IRS-issued number that should not be available to anyone. If someone filed using my SSN they would also have to use my e-signature. This looks like an inside job or the Turbo Tax web site has been hacked and they have kept it quiet. I use the installed version of TT on a Mac computer that I have carefully checked for malwear.

    Another upsetting factor is that you will probably never know the outcome of the IRS investigation.

    • Angela Beasley

      Hello Bill,

      You have a very valid point there. I never thought about the e-signature factor. I’m betting they “Turbotax” have been hacked or there were insiders stealing information who work for them. You never know though. As far as the virus protection goes, I’m not sure if it will make a difference, but any measure that might help prevent this dilemma in the future is definitely worth a go try.

  3. Cheryl

    This just happened last night when I was doing my daughters taxes! I got the same message and I called, the lady gave me the name that was used and the phone number and an address all fake if course, we are trying to get in touch with them right now. It sounds like an inside job to me too. So pissed right now

  4. Diya

    mine was last year. turbo tax allowed it. I am still getting statements from irs saying that my taxes are due with interest. I thought it may have been someone who was inside my house.

  5. leelee

    Eeek.
    I didn’t even have my AGI to sign my taxes and it went through then I even got ripped off by then charging me $84.98 to do a simple return! (Without my knowledge) after I filed my return I recieved a receipt saying the total I would owe, since the state I live in also would be refunding my tax money but its originally posted receipt didn’t say anything about this extra $30.00 that would be charged against my taxes which I agree it is convenient but most every tax agency does that, takes their fee out of my return anyways after searching everywhere for a phone number I came across a privacy policy where they had explained where that missing $30 was taken from! Thanks for the secret of service charges turbo tax! – no more of that b##ls##t!

  6. leelee

    Also btw Ive lived in tampa fl for 12 years and also Bradenton-Sarasota and remembered a turbo tax website being a problem where there was no such a website but it was after I had filed my taxes and the IRS had already accepted them and return them when I found out it to take me several months to receive my refund after involving the FBI and all federal agencies concerning tax invation/fraud! All people who have such a common story such as the ones left by others need to report this to the IRS and FBI

  7. Sheldon Beck

    I’ve been using Turbo Tax for years. This year filing my 2013 returns via Turbo Tax and I had the identical experience, i.e. stolen SS#, duplicate 1040 filed. When contacting Turbo Tax, they are very protective of giving out any info about the fraudulently filed return. I can get that to some extent. What I don’t get is that they seem to not want to do anything about it, other than they did refund my fees for using Turbo Tax.

    Called IRS and they are on it and caught the fraudulent return I think before paying on it. Here’s the interesting fact I found out. I started my return on Turbo Tax on 3/1 and the fraudulent return was started on 3/1 as per Turbo Tax. Was like pulling teeth to get that info from Turbo Tax. Fraudulent return efiled 3/3 and I attempted to efile 3/4. I missed out by a day cutting the crook off.
    3/7/2014
    Yes, call FTC, call police (but police reluctant to file a report), put 90 day fraud hold on your credit reports, change important passwords, get a new debit card if you use one, notify all your banks and credit card issuers about the incident, etc.

  8. Jason

    Same thing just happened to me. I’ve used TT for years and tried to electronically file on 4/6/14. About 45 minutes after I submitted TT sent me an email that my federal and state returns had been rejected. The IRS error code givern was R0000-902-01. I called the IRS and they said said a return had already been filed with my SSN on 4/2/14….. which oddly enough is the day I think I started actually working on my taxes this year. Naturally, the IRS couldn’t give me much information, but they did give me the bank account and routing number that the return had been linked to, as well as a phone number to that bank. Well, it took several calls but eventually I found out that someone filed a joint return with me as the primary and someone else as the secondary, and tried to get about $7000 for a return. The IRS callperson could not explain why, but the IRS did NOT send them a refund. So, fortunately, they won’t have to try to collect those funds. Meantime, I wasted an entire day of my life filing my taxes by paper, making phone calls to the FTC, SSA, etc, and now, I’ll be lucky to get my return (about $5000 I was counting on) in about a year. I don’t know if the problem was TurboTax or something else. I was able to learn the fraudulent return was actually filed with Taxslayer. I’ve been very happy with TT over the years, but I’ll stop using them if I learn they got breached. I agree, there should be more security measures on the IRS side to ensure that the electronic return is actually coming from the real person.

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