You are here

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week has an event for you

Share this page

Today we’re kicking off Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Tax identity theft happens when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security number (SSN) and claims your refund. It also happens when someone uses your SSN to earn wages, and sticks you with the tax bill.

Last year, 34% of the identity theft complaints to the FTC concerned taxes, employment, or wages, falling from 45% in 2015. Total identity theft complaints to the FTC also were down, dropping to 399,225 in 2016, from 490,220 in 2015. While complaint numbers fell in 2016, they stayed higher than they were in 2014.

Last year, we also saw more complaints about IRS imposters – scam callers who say they’re going to arrest or fine you unless you immediately pay them for taxes you supposedly owe. We received 117,943 complaints about IRS imposters in 2016, up 22% from 2015, and up 125% from 2014.

There was encouraging news, too. In October, police raided call centers in India. The Justice Department said they were part of a network responsible for 1.8 million calls to the United States for IRS imposter scams and other schemes. In September, before the raids, the FTC received 18,118 consumer complaints about IRS imposter calls. In December, the complaints were down to 761, declining almost 96% from September.

There could be a lot of reasons for the decline – and it’s a safe bet that the scammers will keep trying. So stay vigilant.

This week, the FTC, the IRS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and others will host free webinars and Twitter chats about avoiding tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams. If you’re a taxpayer, tax professional, service member, or small business operator, there’s an event for you.

The best ways to avoid tax identity theft?

  • File your tax return as early as possible.
  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically, or mail your tax return directly from the post office.
  • Know the IRS won’t contact you by email, text, or social media. If the IRS needs information, it will contact you by mail.
  • Check your credit report for free at to make sure there are no unauthorized accounts.



It happens

thank you for your help , I will take all steps possible to overcome idenity theft.I feel like huge target ,have burgalers broke into my home and chase multiple persons from my garbage can.I never bank online but every bank account i have has been comprimed!I have actors who pose as children and mystery women who is acting as a domestic partner orspouse!!! I was married over 20 yrs ago.we divorced on mutal terms after 2 yr relationship.Found out recently still Married!! Have contacted divorce attorney in this conflict. After suspecting Past roomate of idenity theft,I went to her last landlord and found Ihe also victim of loss over 10,000.00plus.he said did file police report with local police dept.No result!! Im in process to move and start new Leadership program with Hewlett Packard were I can gain new learning tools and guidence in this war on cybercrime.Still need to attack my issue of idenity and promote safety and end this threat!

You can report identity theft and create a personal account to help repair the damage at

Why I recipients a 1099-C From mortgage Company!

The IRS has information online to explain the 1099-C form. This IRS page tells more.

Most of identity thefts and imposters cases have increased after filing taxes online started. Someone selling SS, DB and phone numbers in In..a. They are selling bank accounts too, which are being used for direct deposit of refund

The it's really helped me to situate my identity,theft problem thank you irs

The reason I did not complain about any IRS imposter complain is that now I do not pick up my phone if I do not recognize the number on the caller ID. I get lot of calls from scammers who do not leave any message. So, as the article mentions, lower number complains does not mean that scammer activity is less.

It is a great news that help communities to know there righs, so my tax num to claim how i do because i forgether?

I try to file my taxes as early as I can but I don't get all my W2 forms until February so where are these people getting the information to file earlier than that. There should be a block in time that no returns will be accepted until after February 15 of every year to allow everyone to get these forms. If not we need a way to get this information for ourselves online where the scammers find them.

When you have 1 job and your w2 is electronic and your employer gives it to you early. That's how

Actually, the scammers just falsify the W2 info along with everything else. The IRS doesn't crosscheck the return against the W2 from your employer until several months after they send out the refund dollars

When I get calls about taxes or computer repairs, I tell them they have to 1-877-382-4357. Never hear from them again.

Also, silence is golden on my landline because of NoMoRobo intercepting all the bad guys. I used to be on everyone's list.

A former student of mine used a tax service that she believes may have fraudulently filed her 2016 Income Tax Return after telling her that her Return was rejected by the IRS. She was/is horrified by this news as they were still awaiting the arrival of one of her W-2 - so there should have never been any filing to be rejected! Fearing the worst, my student went to the website to report this matter. The website is NOT very helpful. There should be CLEAR guidance on where/how to report suspected fraudulent tax preparers - perhaps a NATIONAL one-stop website or 1-800 number where the calls/info is received and then routed to the appropriate offices. If one exists, it is not readily apparent to a panicked taxpayers. Please review and resolve.

I once had a young man that was impersonated thirteen times by imposters. His wages were garnished because according to IRS was working in California and Texas at the same time and did not report the Texas income. When I went to the addresses where the frauds were living, they were gone.

Iam. Need stop my claim Tax return now. ! and Ido not come back usa yet. Please do not pay tax to anny people use my id and ssn Thank sir for report security 01/31/2017

The IRS won't call you. They only send letters

I wish we would use biometrics: thumb prints or eye lock and thumb print: believe it or not I recently saw a friend's eye who had passed away in someone else: FREAKY. So, just eye locks might not work.

why isn't this webinar archived?? Webinar: Protecting Sensitive Business and Customer Information: Practical Identity Safety Practices Feb 1, 2017 4:00PM The FTC and the IRS host a free Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week webinar for small businesses on Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. EST (1 p.m. PST, 12 p.m. Alaska; 2 p.m. Mountain Time). Learn about tax identity theft, imposter scams targeting ...

Leave a Comment