WARNING FROM DISTRICT ATTORNEY STAN GARNETT
Friday, March 15, 2013
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett is warning Boulder County consumers to take extra care around tax time to avoid becoming victims of crime. Identity thieves take advantage of this time of year to send phony emails claiming to be from the IRS, or to use stolen information from victims to file a tax return in their name, and claim the tax refund from the IRS which is due to them.
Around this time every year, the Community Protection Division of Boulder District Attorney’s office receives complaints from people who have either received suspicious emails, or have discovered that fraudulent filings have been made in their name.
Figures for 2012 just released by the Federal Trade Commission show that identity theft complaints led their list of consumer concerns for the 13th straight year. Last year, more than two million total complaints were logged by the agency. Eighteen percent of those were related to identity theft. And of that number, more than 43 percent were connected to tax- or wage-related fraud.
Remember, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email. Never respond to an out-of-the-blue email which appears to be from the IRS. This is an email phishing scam designed to get you to reveal tax and personal financial data.
The most common type of tax fraud, however, involves the use of a legitimate taxpayer’s personal information to file a tax return. In these cases, the victim is unaware that the criminal has gotten their information and filed in their name. If you receive a notice from IRS that someone has already filed a tax return in your name, respond immediately to the name and number printed on the notice or letter. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.
If you have difficulty in trying to resolve problems with fake tax filings, call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free at 1-800-908-4490, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. If you have any questions about the procedure, or are unsure of whether you have been the victim of this type of crime, as always, call the District Attorney’s Community Protection Division, at 303 441 3700.