Category: What to Do after Fraud

Today is the official 2012 IRS Tax filing deadline

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Do you know where you tax return is?

If you’re like hundreds of thousands of others who have already filed their tax returns promptly and have discovered that some crook has already filed one for you, then you’re probably pretty upset and have good reason to be.

If you’re just sending out your tax return today, then you have a very good chance of becoming a victim yourself.

How will you know if you are a victim?

If you file electronically you will most likely receive a message from the electronic filing system that a duplicate social security number has been detected or that a tax return has already been filed using your social security number.

If you file by mail, it may be weeks or even months before you even find out you’re a victim.  You will receive a letter that says, “more than one tax return was filed for you” or states “you received wages from an employer you don’t know”.   And then it will be more months or even, in some cases, a year or two before you will actually get your tax return.

What should you do if you become a victim? Continue reading

Help Me Howard: Tax Refund Stolen: Reprint

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As usual Help Me Howard is staying true to its nature of keeping the public informed and helping regular people just like us.  “Help Me Howard” was founded by Howard Finkelstein, Public Defender of Broward County and on-air legal analyst for the Fox networks local affiliate, WSVN Channel 7 News.  Mr. Finkelstein has been recognized for helping people with disabilities, the homeless, and has received a plethora of awards and recognition for helping out the community.

I recently read this wonderful article on Help Me Howard at WSVN.com about stolen tax refunds which includes extremely useful information on what to do and not to do if you become a victim of tax refund fraud.

Thanks to Patrick Fraser, Channel 7’s reporter responsible for this much needed information, I was able to reprint this article for my readers….

Your IRS tax refund was stolen. A lot of you watching right now are probably saying, ‘That happened to me.’ It’s happened to many South Floridians, but one woman might be the unluckiest. Two refund checks in a row were stolen. Then, you won’t believe what the IRS did. How can you avoid refund troubles? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for some answers.
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How to report identity theft, fraud or a stolen Social Security number?

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According to www.socialsecurity.gov

To report identity theft, fraud, or misuse of your Social Security number, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, recommends that you take the following steps:

Step 1:  Place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the three companies:

The company you contact is required to contact the other two, which will then place an alert on their versions of your report.

Step 2:  Review your credit report for inquiries from companies you have not contacted; accounts you did not open; and debts on your accounts that you cannot explain.

Step 3:  Close any accounts you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

Step 4:  File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

Step 5:  File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling them at 1-877-438-4338 (TTY 1-866-653-4261).

reference:  www.socialsecurity.gov, retrieved February 14, 2012 from http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/329/~/identity-theft,-fraud-or-misuse-of-my-social-security-card