Tax Return Scam Hits Local Man

Posted at: 02/26/2013 5:59 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a growing scam, identity thieves targeting your tax return. A Dover man is the most recent victim.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Department says the IRS is investigating after finding out someone filed taxes under a Dover man's name.

Like many scams the thieves are using social security numbers to file taxes under someone else’s name. For the victims recovering from these crimes it cause endless headaches and takes years to repair.

"It happens enough, we’ve probably had a half a dozen or so people come in this year," said Brent Schulz.

Schulz of Liberty Tax Services says each year they have tax filers come in who have to go through extra steps because at one point someone stole their identity to file their taxes.

"The most common case is because someone lost their wallet and their social security cards were in there," said Schulz.

The most recent case a Dover man who received a call about his tax return from the IRS.

"He hadn't filed his tax return yet, so there was somebody trying to file a tax return using his social security number," said Sgt. Tom Claymon.

Sgt. Claymon with the Olmsted County Sheriff's department says like all scams the criminals are hoping to get their hands on some cash.

"I think they are trying to get their hands on that refund, to get it to them at a different account under a different name," said Sgt. Claymon.

Repairing the damage done takes years.

"Once it happens every year you have to wait for that pin to file electronically or they will not go through and then you have to wait for the whole process to sort out," said Schulz.

The only way to prevent it is to keep your social security number locked up and safe.

"It only takes one time to make it worth it for them," said Sgt. Claymon.

Again the number one way to prevent this from happening to you is to keep your social security number from getting out there. Whether that be not caring it around with you, as well as only entering it on secure websites.