COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a warning Wednesday related to an increased number of tax-related identity theft complaints received by his Consumer Protection Section Identity Theft Unit.
Tax-refund fraud occurs when an identity thief obtains the social security number of a taxpayer, filing for and receiving the taxpayer's refund. The fraudulent activity can also occur when people trust fraudulent tax preparers with their personal information.
Employment-earnings tax fraud may also occur when an identity thief uses a person's social security number to obtain a job. The employer then reports the thief's income to the IRS. When the legitimate taxpayer files a tax return that does not include the earnings of the thief, IRS records will show the taxpayer did not fully report his or her income.
"Of all the tax-related identity theft complaints my office has on file, more than half of the complaints were made in March, and we still have a few days to go," DeWine said. "With the tax filing deadline just a few weeks away, it is important for consumers to be aware of these tax-related identity theft issues and how to prevent them."
DeWine's Consumer Protection Section Identity Theft unit helps Ohioans rectify the consequences of identity fraud. The unit offers both self-help assistance and traditional assistance to victims.