How long does one have to wait to receive that coveted tax refund after they have paid his Federal tax liability? When is the check going to arrive? Is the check going to arrive? Has somebody else already claimed my tax refund?
These are the questions taxpayers are asking nowadays, especially as identity thieves are stealing Social Security Numbers and other personal information from strangers. Somehow which is not quite clear at this time, these criminals are able to trick the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into sending the refund checks to them instead of to the rightful taxpayers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that complaints of stolen personal information involving tax and wage related fraud have more than tripled in the last four years. There are currently over 1.4 million identity theft records in the agency’s data bank.read post here!
When much is published about a certain type of identity theft, the number of complaints diminishes. An example is the efforts of financial institutions to be more vigilant about stolen credit cards. Although there has been a little less fraud related to stolen credit cards, the crime of using stolen credit cards to run up fraudulent bills is nowhere stopped yet. Credit card identity theft is still a major cause of over 10 million cases of identity theft.
Two of the most recent causes are the stealing tax refunds and using false identities to open new accounts for utilities. It is estimated by a nationwide survey by Javelin Strategy and Research out of California that identity theft has increased 12% in the 2015.
Even though banks are now watching out for credit card fraud and replacing victims’ losses, opening new credit cards in another person’s name still makes for 13.2% of complaints. Stealing Social Security Numbers and stealing someone’s tax refund comprise 20% of stolen monies belonging to persons other than their recipients.
Interestingly, the largest volume of complaints of emanates from residents in California, Texas and Florida where illegal alien populations continue to grow. Although the FTC is working with the IRS to make consumers aware of tax refund identity theft, it is not known how helpful warnings will be, as victims are seldom aware of the theft until it has already happened.
One man reports working eight months corresponding with the IRS about his stolen tax refund. Ultimately, the man investigated the theft on his own and discovered where his refund check had been cashed. After working with law enforcement, the man tracked the thief down in another state, but, before the crook could be apprehended, he had fled the area.
This man has no idea how the crook stole his identity and refund check. In one known case, criminals set up a fake tax preparation venue, stealing clients’ Social Security Numbers and doctoring up tax return claims and had the IRS send to those criminals’ addresses.
Of course, if a tax refund check is delivered to your mailbox, identity thieves can easily grab it if your mailbox is not a heavy duty locking security mailbox.
There is a correlation between where the identities are stolen and the illegal alien population in those areas. Reduce the chances of tax refund fraud with a locking security mailbox and use reputable tax refund preparation services.
We can avoid becoming victims of identity theft. First and foremost, we can invest in a steel locking mailbox. Buy one of these and never again worry about mail theft or mailbox bashing.