Tax day means profits to tax scammers. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported that tax-related identity theft was one of the most common forms of identity fraud. For five consecutive years, tax fraud has been on the rise and at the top of the fraud complaint list. In addition, IRS impostor scam complaints in 2014 increased 24 times over the previous year.1
A recent report called “The Fraudsters’ Playbook” detailed the most common ways that thieves recommend stealing an identity. Be aware of these common schemes so you do not fall for them:
A recent survey estimated that last year identity theft affected over 13.1 million Americans. That would equate to a new victim of fraud every two seconds. This is the second highest number of estimated victims in one year and can be attributed to a spike in the number of existing card fraud cases. The estimated fraud amount increased to over $18 billion in damages last year.
With the increase of identity theft, companies need to be aware of their greatest weakness which, for many, is their vendors.
Tax return thieves use someone else's Social Security number to file for a tax return for themselves, often even resulting in the victim's wages being garnished for taxes the thief owes. It can be a lengthy process to convince the IRS that your have been a victim of identity theft and the money they believe you owe is not your responsibility.
Identity theft is a constantly evolving industry. Years ago, identity theft damages were limited to credit card fraud for unauthorized purchases. As banks and financial institutions adapted and put stronger preventative measures in place, thieves began using stolen Social Security number to open new lines of credit.
Ever wonder how an Identity Protection solution could help you in light of a data breach like Target? The following describes how our product, PrivacyArmor, could have been able to help a Target customer who may have been compromised as part of the breach.