January 13 through 17 is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The week will include national and regional events designed to raise awareness of the tax identity theft problem and provide guidance for victims dealing with the occurrence.
According to Federal Trade Commission Consumer Education Specialist Amy Hebert, tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft reported to the FTC.
Herbert writes that tax identity theft involves instances in which a person steals someone else’s personal information, such as Social Security number, to file a phony tax return to receive the victim’s tax refund.
It also may include using another person’s Social Security number to get a job or to claim your child as a dependent on a tax return.
Victims may first become aware of tax identity theft when they receive a notice from the IRS indicating the they received payments from an unknown employer, or that, after the victim files his or he tax return, that more than one tax return had been filed in the victim’s name using the victim’s Social Security number.
For ideas on dealing with tax-related identity theft, see www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0008-tax-related-identity-theft.
To read Herbert’s blog on the subject, go to www.ftc.gov and search for “Get Ready for Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.” The Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week website is available at www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0029-tax-identity-theft-awareness-week.