Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Have you ever wondered how ID thieves get their victims’ personal and financial information? One way you may not have thought of is dishonest tax preparers. Each year, Treasury agents investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by tax preparers — a group that plays an important part in our nation’s tax system.
A homeowner who’s worried about foreclosure or desperate to refinance might listen to a caller who promises to help. Unfortunately, not all cold-calling telemarketers do what they promise. Enter the Federal Trade Commission’s nearly $3.6 million settlement with Prime Legal Plans.
When identity thieves target taxpayers to obtain improper tax refunds, it causes serious consequences for the victim and for the IRS. The IRS is taking steps to make it more difficult for perpetrators to successfully file falsified returns using others’ personal information (prevention) and to make it more costly if caught doing so (deterrence). But as the voice of the taxpayer, my focus is on IRS’s victim assistance to those who find themselves impacted by identity theft.
The FTC warned people last summer about illegal prerecorded sales calls from scammers pitching safety alert systems for older adults. And now, the FTC and the Florida Attorney General have acted to temporarily halt and freeze the assets of an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality. The FTC and the Florida AG are working to permanently ban the operation from illegally pitching their products and to get refunds for victims.
Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
Tax ID thieves are ready — are you?
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job, and it’s one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. You might find out it’s happened when you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.
When you arrange a funeral, you have many decisions to make. Accurate information makes it easier to sort through your choices. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to give consumers certain information about their goods and services.
Gingerbread…eggnog...champagne. The holiday season is over! After enjoying some end-of-the-year indulgences, you may be thinking about how to reshape your body. What if you just had to slather on some cream to get a slim sculpted shape? Sounds like a dream come true, right?
When it comes to treatments for health conditions, it can be tough to tell useful products from those that don’t work as claimed. Dietary supplements may seem like harmless health boosters. But while some have proven benefits, many don't.