Income tax identity theft scams have tripled in the last five years, ABC News reports.
Telltale signs that you are already a victim of tax identity theft:
- You receive an IRS notice saying you made more money than you claimed. The notice may list employers you have never heard of. Chances are somebody used your Social Security number when they got a job.
- You try to file your tax return electronically and it is rejected. The rejection notice may state that you cannot file more than once. Somebody else has possibly filed a return using your name and Social Security number.
- You claim your children as dependents, as you should, and your return is rejected. This could be because somebody else has stolen your children's Social Security numbers and fraudulently claimed your children as dependents to inflate their own refund.
The Internal Revenue Service has a toll-free hotline to assist identity theft victims. Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. Find more information on the IRS site.