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Tax Refund Fraud

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tax return form, pen, calculator and glasses

Nearly all tax fraud begins with identity theft. Once identity thieves have obtained your personal information, they complete a tax return in your name and social security number with false W-2 statements. They request that the tax refund be deposited into their bank account, not yours.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is taking new precautions to prevent, detect, and resolve identity theft and tax refund fraud. You can protect yourself from becoming a victim by minimizing your risk of identity theft and watching out for the signs of suspicious activity before it's too late.

Be on the lookout for identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS or tax professional that tells you:

  • More than one tax return was filed
  • You have a balance due, refund offset, or have had collection actions taken for a year you did not file a tax return
  • Records indicate you received more wages than you earned
  • Your benefits were reduced or cancelled because the IRS received information reporting an income change

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft and tax return fraud:

  • Report the incident to the IRS by calling the number on the notice you received. If you did not receive a notice, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490
  • Contact the fraud departments of the credit bureaus
  • Close any accounts that you believe have been compromised

For more information on taxpayer identity theft, please visit IRS.gov

Please contact Member Services at 804-323-6800 or 800-285-6609 if you have questions, or believe your identity may be compromised.