Wednesday, March 09, 2016

IRS suspends PIN retrieval tool as part of attempt stop refund fraud

The IRS has suspended the use of a retrieval tool for “identity-protection PINS”, as a result of the epidemic of fraudulent returns, as reported by Andrea Petersen in the Washington Post Wednesday March 9, 2016, p. A16.

Closely connected was the IRS “Get Transcript” tool which was breached last year.

The IRS has used the pins on sites (like HR Block and TruboTax) that file returns online, as part of a digital signature.  Given all the complexity of this and some matters, it looks like my own return will have to be by mail (after printing from the website) this year, as it was last year.
The article notes that crooks have become more proficient in guessing answers to security questions, possibly culling them from social media – items like my favorite pet, city of birth, etc), so the trend will be to let users define their own security questions