“Irony or a Troubling Trend on Identity Theft?

I got to be one of the lucky ones this year who got a note back from the IRS saying that a tax return had already been filed on my spouse’s social security number. I had relayed that story to a colleague and behold, he just got a similar note from his accountant.

To our accountant buddies out there – we love you guys! Thanks for taking care of us – sincerely! The recovery process was made so much simpler because mine knew what to do.

Between April 2011 and 2014, more than 19 million fraudulent claims were attempted to be filed – the IRS stopped more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds being issued. However, it lost about $5.8 billion in the same time frame in those that they couldn’t catch.

There was a comment made in the press not long ago that “nobody’s data is safe”, that it is a misnomer that you can protect your identity forever.

Ironically, on the same day that I had this conversation with my colleague, my credit card got temporarily shut down for security reasons. Seems there were fraudulent charges pending on it. I got online to check and sure enough, the “Jolly Hotel” and “Casa Show LJ 97” had posted multiple charges ranging from .49 cents to $3.60 on my credit card. Thankfully, and I don’t normally do this (but I will name the company in this case), Bank of America sniffed it out and had frozen the card before they could be processed.

I’m not endorsing specific companies or products that they offer to monitor and protect your identity. But, this has become a little more than inconvenient for my personal family just in the past several weeks – not to mention the mental worry and concern that goes along with it. Do something to protect yourself.

This is the modern world in which we live. To conduct business online, get a rental car, or even conveniently get your credit report so that you can monitor it, you probably have to share private information over lines that are more easily hacked today.

The bottom line is that the Treasury Inspector expects the number of fraudulent tax filings that don’t get caught by the IRS to go from $5 billion as mentioned to more than $26 billion into 2017.  We tend to overlook the risk when it doesn’t happen to us.”