Tax Fraud/Identity Theft
APD has received at least four recent complaints from residents who feel that they have been victims of TAX FRAUD. These folks were notified that the IRS (or the Maine Revenue Service - MRS) had "received their tax return." The problem? These individuals had not yet filed their tax returns!
These residents may be victims of identity theft because someone had apparently filed a [potentially fraudulent] tax return using their name and/or SSN.
These victims were advised to file a report with their local police department, which is a standard first step in identity theft cases.
Common themes from these reported incidents:
• Victims were usually notified by the revenue service of a "pending review/investigation/audit of a tax return" filed in the victim’s name and/or with their SSN
• Victims generally have no firm suspect information due to how they were notified of the potential identity theft
• The revenue service requests the victim file a report with their local police department
• The IRS, MRS and possibly the Social Security Administration (SSA) will investigate the identity theft, tax fraud and theft (if a refund was issued to the incorrect party)
• The investigating agency(ies) may have leads such as a bank accounts, mailing addresses, etc., that the suspect used to receive the tax refund(s), however the victims and APD are NOT privy to that information
Here are some resources if you think you may be a victim of tax fraud/identity theft:
Resources from the IRS: http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers/IRS-Procedures/Reporting-Fraud and http://www.irs.gov/uac/Why-is-CI-Involved-in-Identity-Theft%3F
The MRS does not appear to have any recent  information; however there is an entry titled “IRS Email, Phishing and Identity Theft Scams” in the December, 2011 Maine Tax Alert on this webpage: http://www.maine.gov/revenue/publications/alerts/2011.htm
The SSA also has resources and ‘bigger picture’ information related to SSN use for identity theft and tax fraud: http://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/blog/2012/06/identity-theft-what-do-i-do-now and http://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/congressional-testimony/hearing-identity-theft-and-tax-fraud