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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection The Resource Center | article

Identity Thieves Don’t Need To Fool You, Only Your Employer


For millions of Americans, tax season can come as a huge financial relief, with the potential for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars refunded by the IRS. But this time of year can also be a significantly stressful one. Beyond the difficulty in getting all of your W-2s and other financial forms together and reported by April 15, or facing the possibility of owing money to the federal government, tax season is one of the year's riskiest times for identity theft.

Identity thieves take advantage of the free-flowing nature of sensitive personal information being sent back and forth during tax season, setting their sights on names, addresses and Social Security to file fraudulent tax returns. These crimes not only put a tax preparer's hard-earned refund into someone else's hands, but also opens the victims to a series of other financial risks posed by theft of identity.

Believe it or not, one of the worst sources of ID theft during tax season is a gullible employer. According to Forbes, 28-year-old Jared Brewton of Yonkers, New York, tried to take advantage of this by sending scores of letters to employers, presenting himself as a phony "IRS Audit Group Representative," claiming that he needed the names, birthdays and Social Security numbers of employees as part of an identity theft protection program. The most troubling part of this news is that Brewton was actually successful in tricking some bosses and supervisors into giving up their workers' sensitive information without checking out this identity thief's background first.

Whether you're an employer or employee, be wary of any requests for personal and confidential data. These prompts are, more often than not, simply scams.

Beat ID thieves to your refund. #TAXRACE

Source: Forbes —