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The IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a nationwide crackdown against identity theft in January, targeting identity thieves in 23 states.

IRS Cracks Down on Identity Theft

  • 2/15/2012

IRS Cracks Down on Identity Theft

The IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a nationwide crackdown against identity theft in January. The initiative targeted identity thieves in 23 states. The IRS also updated its website materials about protecting personal information from identity thieves.

Refund fraud. Identity thieves will fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund using a stolen Social Security number. Typically, identity thieves attempt to get fraudulent refunds early in the filing season, the IRS reported.

Comment: IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steven Miller told reporters that the crackdown was timed to coincide with the start of the filing season. “We have seen an increase (in identity theft) and we are concerned.”

Nationwide sweep. IRS and DOJ took action against more than 100 individuals suspected of identity theft in January. Overall, 939 criminal charges were included in numerous indictments, the agencies reported. The IRS also visited money services businesses and check cashing operations to make sure these businesses were not facilitating identity theft.

Website information. On its website, the IRS has developed a new page on identity theft: Special Identity Theft Enforcement Efforts – 2012. The page highlights the agency’s anti-identity theft activities and alerts taxpayers about precautions they can take to avoid identity theft.

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