I Think Someone Stole My Identity! Identity Theft and Tax Fraud

prevent tax fraud

Did you efile a tax return, but it was rejected by the IRS because a return with your Social Security number (SSN) was already accepted? Or did you receive an email from efile.com stating that you efiled a tax return (or that your return was accepted or rejected by the IRS), but you did not file this return?

You may be a victim of identity theft and tax fraud.

However, this does not mean that we at efile.com committed the fraud: someone using our website did this.

To help you get though this situation, here is some information on what is identity theft and tax fraud, what to do when you receive an unexpected email from us about a tax return, and how to report identity theft and tax fraud to the IRS and/or state tax agencies. 

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the fraudulent use of an individual’s private identifying information to commit fraud for financial gain.

Identity theft has seen a rise in recent years of 50% from 2005 to 2010, according to Department of Justice figures.

Identity thieves seek ways to gather personal information from unsuspecting individuals to commit fraud while the victims are unaware of the acts. 

At efile.com, we are committed to helping our clients protect their data and to promote awareness of identity theft practices. 

In the following guide, we will explain how identity thieves target individuals, what you can do to protect yourself and what you can do if you believe you were a victim of identity theft.

Additionally, The IRS has an identity theft guide to help taxpayers protect themselves from tax fraud. 

How are Identities Stolen?

Identity thieves use various methods to maliciously obtain personal information. One of the most common methods used to obtain electronic information is “phishing.” 

Phishing Attempts

Phishing is a technique used by identity thieves to gather private and personal information by sending false electronic communications from a seemingly legitimate source. This may take the form of e-mail communications or phone calls from a financial institution such as a bank or a government agency.

Financial institutions and government agencies, as a rule, do not ask you for personal information such as your social security number or password over e-mails and phone calls. For example, if the IRS wants additional information about a tax return you filed, they usually send you a letter in the mail, which includes information on how to contact them if you have questions about the notice. 

If a person responds to a phishing e-mail or provides personal information to a caller pretending to be the IRS, they may very well be sending would-be thieves the keys to commit fraud! 

Here's some more information on phishing and e-mail scams.

What is Tax Fraud?

Tax fraud is willful noncompliance with the tax code. Actions like claiming a dependent when you don't have one, keeping two accounting books to conceal finances, or using a false Social Security Number to file one's taxes are examples of what is considered to be tax fraud. 

An identity thief may commit tax fraud using your personal information by filing taxes using your information.

How Do I Protect Myself from Identity Theft and Tax Fraud?

There are a number of measures that individuals such as yourself can take to prevent your identity from being stolen or used fraudulently.

Preventing Phishing

  • Be aware of e-mails and/or phone calls asking for personal information from you
  • Examine e-mails to see where they are coming from
  • Never provide personal or confidential information to an unverified source
  • Contact the financial institution or agency to establish legitimacy of e-mail or phone call
  • Review bank and credit card statements for any unusual activity

Preventing Tax Fraud 

  • Follow steps above to prevent phishing
  • Carefully choose your efiling or filing partner
  • Audit and examine your own books for any irregularities
  • Be aware of irregular practices, such as keeping two books and the use of social security numbers belonging to the deceased
  • Monitor any communication you receive from the IRS or Tax Agencies

How Do I Report Identity Theft and Tax Fraud?

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you should contact the IRS and/or state tax agency by using the information in the next two sections below. However, if you receive an email from efile.com informing you about your tax return status, but you did not file this return, please refer to "Reporting Identity Theft to efile.com."

Reporting Identity Theft to the IRS 

By Phone

To report identity theft to the IRS, you should call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 for guidance.

By Mail 

To report tax fraud to the IRS, you must fill out Form 3949-A - Information Referral and mail it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service

Stop C2003

Fresno, CA 93888

Reporting Tax Fraud to the IRS and/or Local State Agency

Tax fraud can be reported on state and federal levels.

IRS 

The IRS has a designated address to send reports of tax fraud. You can send tax fraud reports to: 

Internal Revenue Service

Stop C2003

Fresno, CA 93888

For more information on reporting tax fraud to the IRS, you may visit the IRS tax fraud activity page.

State Agencies 

Generally, each state has either a telephone hotline or an address where an individual can file one's report, if not both.

To report income tax fraud, either call a tax hotline or contact the department of taxation via the specified address. Some states require you to fill out a form to mail.

StatePhone NumberAddressForm required(Y/N)
Alabama 1-800-535-9410

Alabama Department of Revenue
Investigations Division
1021 Madison Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36132


Y

Alaska 1-877-GR8-TIPS N/A  
Arizona 602-542-4023 Criminal Investigations
PO Box 25248
Phoenix AZ 85002
Y
Arkansas  

Department of Finance and Administration
Office of Accounting - Internal Audit Section
1515 W 7th Street, Suite 215
Little Rock, AR 72201

(for state employees)

Y
California 800-540-3453
(M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. PST)
Franchise Tax Board
P.O. Box 1565
Rancho Cordova CA 95741
 
Colorado (303) 205-8262    
Connecticut     Y
Delaware (302) 577-8958 N/A  
District of Columbia (800) 380-3495 Government of the District of Columbia
Office of Tax and Revenue
Attn: Tax Fraud Hotline
1101 4th Street, SW, Suite 750W
Washington, DC 20024
 
Florida N/A N/A  
Georgia 404-417-4266    
Hawaii      
Idaho      
Illinois 1 800 243-2811 (CHEAT 11) Illinois Department of Revenue
Bureau of Criminal Investigation
101 West Jefferson Street
PO Box 19014
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9014
Y
Indiana      
Iowa      
Kansas      
Kentucky (502) 564-7118 Division of Special Investigations
Kentucky Department of Revenue
501 High Street, Station 18
Frankfort, KY 40601
N
Louisiana 1-866-940-7053    
Maine (207) 624-9600    
Maryland      
Massachusetts 1-800-792-5254    
Michigan 517-636-4157 Discovery and Tax Enforcement
Michigan Dept of Treasury
Attn: Fraud Unit
P.O. Box 30140
Lansing, MI 48909
 
Minnesota 651- 297-5195 or
1-800-657-3500
Minnesota Department of Revenue
Criminal Investigation Division
Mail Station 6590
600 North Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55146-6590
 
Mississippi   Criminal Investigation Division
P.O. Box 22828
Jackson, MS 39225-2828
 
Missouri      
Montana      
Nebraska

(800) 742-7474 (toll free in NE & IA) or

(402) 471-5729.

Lincoln
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94818
Lincoln, NE 68509-4818
Telephone (402) 471-5729

Omaha
Nebraska State Office Building
1313 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68102-1871
Telephone (402) 595-2065

 
Nevada N/A N/A  
New Hampshire      
New Jersey      
New Mexico 1-866-457-6789 Tax Fraud Investigations Division
P.O. Box 8487
Albuquerque, NM  87198
Fax Number: (505) 841-5581
 
New York 518-457-0578 NYS Department of Taxation and Finance
Report Suspected Tax Evasion/Fraud
Information Referral Unit
Building 9 Room 480
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, N.Y. 12227
 
North Carolina 1-800-232-4939    
North Dakota      
Ohio (800) 757-6091    
Oklahoma      
Oregon      
Pennsylvania 717-783-4649 Department of Revenue
Bureau of Criminal Tax Investigations
5th Floor Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA  17128
 
Rhode Island      
South Carolina 803-898-5953 S C Department of Revenue
Attn:  Sheryl Wicker, CID
Market Pointe Service Center
300-B Outlet Pointe Blvd
P.O. Box 21587
Columbia, SC 29221
Y
South Dakota N/A N/A  
Tennessee (800) FRAUDTX or
(800) 372-8389
Tennessee Department of Revenue
Special Investigations
301 Plus Park, Suite 110
Nashville, TN 37217-1036
 
Texas N/A N/A  
Utah      
Vermont      
Virginia      
Washington N/A N/A  
West Virginia      
Wisconsin   Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Audit Bureau, Unit E
Mail Stop 5-144
P.O. Box 8906
Madison, WI 53708-8906
FAX: 608-267-0834
 
Wyoming N/A N/A  

 

Reporting Identity Theft to efile.com

 If you receive an email from efile.com indicating that someone has either prepared or filed a return and you did not do this, please follow these steps: 

1) Contact efile.com as soon as possible and inform us that someone has used your email to set up an account or has filed a return.  You can contact us here:

http://www.efile.com/contact/         

2) Since the account was set up with up with your email address, you are the owner of this account and you can access the account to view the information.  You can first retrieve the Username by clicking on the link below and clicking on on “I forgot my username”:

http://www.efile.com/my-password/

3) Once you have received the Username via email, you can click on the link below to retrieve the password:

http://www.efile.com/my-username-password/

4) You can then login to the account using this link:

 http://www.efile.com/tax-return-signin/

5) Once you have accessed the account, you will be able to see if any personal information is like yours. You can access the personal information by clicking "Name and Address" (on the left-hand side of the account screen) or clicking the PDF link on the "My Account" screen (which you can access by clicking on "My Account" on the upper right-hand side). 

If you discover that someone has used your personal information to prepare and/or file a return (your SSN, name, address, or income), please contact the IRS as soon as possible (see "Reporting Identity Theft to the IRS") to report identity theft and a fraudulent return.  Also, please change the Username and Password in the account so that it can no longer be accessed by someone other than you. 

6) Contact efile.com and inform us that the account is fraudulent and we will disable the account and unsubscribe your email address.

If the information in the account is not similar to yours and only your email address has been used fraudulently, please contact efile.com and we will disable the account and unsubscribe your email address. 

Have more questions about our emails and our commitment to your security and privacy? Visit our related guide on how to handle possible tax return fraud done on efile.com.

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