Public Affairs Office

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Tax Season is Here; Protect Yourself from Fraud

(February 21, 2013)- The Tax Fraud season is upon us and in full swing.  Law enforcement agencies are receiving approximately 4 reports of tax fraud per day and this number is expected to grow.

Due to IRS regulations, tax returns are not verified with tax information submitted by employers (W-2s, 1099s etc.) until late April, well after refunds have been sent out.

Tax refunds can now be sent to a reloadable money card such as a greet dot cards.  These cards require no identification to obtain.  This allows criminals who obtain someone else's personal information to file a fraudulent tax return with false income figures that result in huge refunds.  The refunds are then sent to untraceable money cards.

How are they getting the personal information? All they need is your name, DOB and SS#.  You have given this to every doctor you have ever seen, every employer, bank, property rental, etc. they all have your information sitting in a file in a back room that any employee can access.

What can you do? File your taxes as early as possible, beating the criminals to the punch essentially. Also, opt for a direct deposit refund in to your bank account.

The video below highlights the problem in North Miami Beach and Tampa, but make no mistake this problem exists here in Southwest Florida as well.