DOR warns about tax-related identity theft

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) continues to partner with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to share the top tax filing season concerns referred to as the “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2018.

The third scam in the 12-part series is identity theft. Tax-related identity theft occurs when a fraudulent tax return is filed claiming a refund in the victim’s name, which often starts with a stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

DOR’s Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention Program along with IRS’s Security Summit has worked diligently to reduce the amount of tax fraud in recent years. According to the IRS, the number of identity theft victims has fallen nearly 65 percent between 2015 and 2017.

“While identity theft is decreasing, criminals are coming up with innovative ways to steal personal information to impersonate taxpayers,” said DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp. “It is vital for taxpayers and tax professionals to remain vigilant to the ever-evolving scams used in identity theft.”

Businesses should also be aware that criminals are using their information to file fraudulent forms. It is important to keep all information safeguarded.

IRS and DOR have a few tips for taxpayers to keep sensitive data safe:

• Always use security software with both firewall and antivirus protections and make sure it is updated regularly.

• Encrypt files that contain sensitive information.

• Use strong passwords.

• Do not provide personal information over the phone or via email.

• Do not click on links or attachments from unknown email sources or emails that seem suspicious.

• Protect your personal data by not carrying your Social Security card and making sure your tax records are secure.

More information about stopping ID theft can be found on DOR’s website at https://www.in.gov/dor/4794.htm.

To view the first two of “IRS Dirty Dozen” tax scams of 2018, visit http://www.in.gov/dor/6137.htm.

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