'Mistaken' tax refund deposit part of new IRS scheme

Identity theft expert says there can be multiple victims

By Mike Holfeld - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Identity Theft Resource Center reports tax refund bank deposits are being used in a new IRS impostor scheme that has already impacted “thousands of people.” 

Eva Velesquez, president and CEO of ITRC, told News 6 there can be “multiple victims” because the
illegal tax refund is obtained with the victim’s Social Security number and other personal data.

“What they are doing is filing a fraudulent tax return and using your bank account information to have that deposited into your account," she said. “What the scammers need to have is your account information because the scam doesn’t work unless they can reach out and pretend to be the IRS."

The IRS reports the number of victims jumped from a few hundred to thousands by the middle of February.

The scheme involves a call from IRS impostors who advise the victims they have received a tax refund they were not entitled to receive.

IRS investigators are convinced the erroneous tax refund scheme may connected to a breach in “tax practitioner’s computer files.” 

According to the IRS website, the criminal investigation team continues to look into the "scope and breadth of this scheme.”

Taxpayers who file electronically may find that their tax return will reject because a return bearing their Social Security number is already on file, IRS officials said. If that’s the case, taxpayers should follow the steps outlined in the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

Taxpayers unable to file electronically should mail a paper tax return along with Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, stating they were victims of a tax preparer data breach

Copyright 2018 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.