Even though the majority of people experience identity theft through missing funds, there are actually quite a few ways that identity thieves can use your information. One surprising way some thieves engage in identity theft is through your taxes.
It sounds strange, doesn’t it? No one likes to do taxes, so why in the world would an identity thief want to file your taxes! There are a couple of reasons.
First, they’re interested in your refund check. Many families have thousands of dollars returned to them during tax season, and an identity thief would love to get their hands on it.
Second, some identity thieves use someone else’s Social Security number to obtain a job, which means their tax information will be associated with that number. In order to file, the thief will have to file under your number.
No matter what the reason, filing your tax return becomes an even bigger headache when someone else has already filed it for you. It’s best to contact the IRS immediately about the issue. Specialists can work with you to properly file your taxes and ensure that you get your refund.
It’s also worth your time to try and avoid scams in the first place. In order to obtain your information, some scammers will send emails, text messages, and social media messages posing as the IRS. These are not ways that the IRS reaches out to taxpayers. Instead, they initiate contact with a letter in the mail. If you experience a phishing attempt, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.