Identity Theft Happening Here

I read with interest George Kuhlow’s letter to the editor last week about his Social Security payment being fraudulently redirected to another bank account by identity theft people. I thought I was safe, and monitor all bank account activity and charge card charges very carefully, but out of the blue I received a letter from the Virginia Department of Taxation in August stating that they suspected a fraudulent tax return had been filed in my name. I was not wary because I was not due a refund and didn’t get one. A phone call to tax authorities revealed that someone filed federal and state tax returns before I did in April and fraudulently claimed false W-2 withholding and received substantial tax refunds. A quick internet search reveals that the IRS was hacked by organized criminals in Russia to access prior year tax returns from the IRS for more than 330,000 people; I expect a lot more than that. Advice to everyone, not just seniors, is to keep vigilant. This identity theft stuff is really happening – this time costing the federal government more than 50 million dollars.

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