Monday, April 04, 2011

ABC reports on tax refund scams with stolen kids' SSN's

ABC News is reporting tonight that the tax refund opportunity is driving a lot of identity theft. There are two main scams: one is a “free” tax service on a site mimicking a well-known one, and the other, more common, is for crooks to use the social security numbers of other people’s children and claim then fraudulently as dependents, causing parents’ legitimate returns to be rejected later.

The main story, by Elizabeth Leamy, Ben Forer, and James Wang, is (website url) here. It was reported by Diane Sawyer on ABC World News Tonight on Monday April 4. 

The IRS apparently doesn’t have very adequate automated ways to check for “real” family dependency, partly because of the complexity of American family life today.  That certainly begs for some more systems development. 

The IRS does not send emails to taxpayers (except for specially automated ones in conjunction with e-filing). Any email "from the IRS" about your tax return is likely a phishing attempt trying to get SSN's. 

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