Your BBB® receives calls hourly about IRS tax-related fraud.
Since tax fraud using other person’s identities has become a multi-billion dollar problem, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has created a dedicated unit to pursue those who are involved in identity theft. The unit has 12 members whose sole purpose is to focus on cybercrime related to tax fraud, including the theft of data which is then used to collect victim tax refunds without their consent. Within the last fiscal year, over 1,000 known cases of identity theft involved the loss of data through digital means. Phishing campaigns remain the main vehicle used to steal identities. The spam consists of emails that come in the form of what appears to be legitimate businesses such as banks, social media websites and loan companies, and include either attachments with malware, or links to malicious websites. Once a Social Security number has been stolen from the victim, criminals pose as the victim and submit tax returns to the agency, collecting refunds. The victim often does not find out until their own tax return is turned down because a refund has already been paid. Investigations of false claims take an average of 120 days to resolve. In total, the US agency has traced approximately $26 million in criminal profits back to countries such as Nigeria, Russia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania. Between 2011 and 2014, the IRS prevented fraudulent tax refund transactions worth $63 billion.
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