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[ATG] Zoeller sees spike in complaints of ID thieves stealing personal info, filing fake tax returns
Start Date: 4/2/2012
End Date: 4/2/2012
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Attorney General’s Office announced today it has received more tax-related identity theft complaints this year than in all of 2011.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said 20 Indiana taxpayers have filed complaints so far, because they believe their personal information or their children’s information was used to file fake tax returns and claim refunds. In some cases, Social Security Numbers were stolen to obtain employment and as a result the victim is seen as not having reported all their income on the return.

“Identity theft knows no season, but as Hoosiers begin to file their taxes it provides a unique opportunity for thieves to use names and social security numbers to claim significant refunds,” Zoeller said. “These complaints underscore the need for all consumers to be proactive in guarding their personal information whether online, at home or on their person.”

In 2011, the office received 19 tax-related identity theft complaints with only two of those submitted during the three-month period leading up to April. Zoeller said the spike in numbers could be because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is doing a better job of finding suspicious activity earlier and reporting it to taxpayers.

Zoeller said criminals have been using the internet to send unsolicited emails claiming to be from the IRS and asking for personal information. Consumers should not respond to these emails or click any links. Instead, forward the message to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media to request personal or financial information. 

While victims can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, tax-related identity theft is handled by the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit. The unit can be contacted toll-free at 1.800.908.4490 or for more information visit www.irs.gov and enter keywords “identity theft.”

“Often times identity thieves use someone’s personal information beyond just filing fake tax returns,” Zoeller said. “That’s when our office can provide more direct assistance to victims and work to shut down the thieves.”

Zoeller said victims who do file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office will receive educational materials, guidance on filling out the necessary IRS affidavit form and given the appropriate contact information. To learn more or file an identity theft complaint visit www.indianaconsumer.com or call 1.800.382.5516 to request a complaint form.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: Erin.Reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Kids and Families
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Law & Justice
  • Public Safety
  • Taxes & Finance
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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