Identity Theft accounted for 14 percent of all consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission in 2017, with credit card fraud being the most common type of identity theft reported. Tax fraud was the second most common type of identity theft reported by consumers despite falling by 46 percent from 2016.
In cases of tax fraud, scammers will steal identities in an attempt to collect the tax refunds of victims. As tax season approaches, residents often report receiving phone calls from unknown individuals who claim to represent the IRS, and typically attempt to trick victims into paying phony “back taxes” via untraceable pre-loaded money cards. The IRS will NEVER call you about tax issues of any kind. Anyone claiming to be calling on behalf of the IRS is a criminal, and should be ignored and reported to authorities.
Here are some important links to information about how to avoid falling victim to identity theft, and what to do if your identity has been compromised.