How the Department is Protecting Your Identity
Feb. 6, 2015 - TaxTalk Blog
This week, the Indiana Department of Revenue published a blog series about the threat of identity theft and how to protect yourself. This information might leave you asking a few questions about how the department is going to help protect you. This blog provides answers to five important questions you might have.
1. How big of a problem is identity theft?
- Identity theft is a significant problem and it grows each year. In 2014:
- $88 million in attempted identity theft was stopped.
- 74,000 fraudulent refunds consisted of stolen or manufactured identities.
- 11 percent of all requested refund dollars were stolen or manufactured identities.
2. What is the department doing to protect my identity?
This year the Indiana Department of Revenue is again implementing significantly increased security measures to protect Hoosiers and the state from identity theft and identity fraud.
For the 2015 tax season, the department is using the automated identity verification services of LexisNexis to help confirm the identities of all Hoosier taxpayers due a refund in 2014. Information will be submitted to the LexisNexis identity verification database, which will verify and authenticate taxpayers’ identities before the department will continue to process the returns.
As an additional level of protection, some taxpayers will be selected to confirm their identities through the Identity Confirmation Quiz.
3. What is the Identity Confirmation Quiz?
As an additional level of protection, some taxpayers will be selected to confirm their identities. Those selected will receive a letter from the Indiana Department of Revenue. It will first ask taxpayers to confirm that the letter’s name and address information matches an Indiana tax return they recently submitted. If taxpayers receive this letter and the identity information is not correct or they did not submit an Indiana tax return, they should not complete the quiz, but rather follow the letter’s instructions to contact the department.
The quiz contains four short questions about which only the person asked to complete the quiz would be able to answer. It is taken on a secure website hosted by the department, or over the phone. It should take no more than two minutes. The department expects 95 percent of taxpayers taking the Identity Confirmation Quiz will confirm their identities.
4. How do I know if my identity has been stolen?
There are several clues that your identity has been stolen including when you:
- notice there are withdrawals from your bank or credit card charges you did not make
- get bills that are not yours
- are notified that more than one tax return has been filed in your name
5. What should someone do if his or her identity is stolen?
- The first thing to do is freeze your credit. You can do that through the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Identity Theft Prevention Toolkit at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2853.htm. This website will also give you information about the next steps to take.
- However, Hoosiers should be proactive before their identities are stolen by following simple tips for protecting their information, such as being suspicious of scams, shredding documents they don’t need, and filing their taxes electronically.
- Read the previous two blogs in this identity protection series:
- Learn more about the identity protection program at www.in.gov/dor/4794.htm.
- Visit the Internal Revenue Service’s identity protection website at www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection.
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