As the 2019 tax season gets underway, North Shore Trust and Savings is urging all customers to take extra precaution when filing their return to prevent their exposure to tax fraud. Tax identity fraud takes place when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number in order to fraudulently claim the refund.
Fraudsters are using very clever tactics, such as sending threatening demand notices via regular mail and e-mail, followed by impersonating an IRS agent on the telephone to collect your information. Consumers must be suspicious of any communication from the IRS — through email, text or social media — that requests personal information, and should keep a watchful eye out for missing W-2s and mail containing sensitive financial information. The identity thieves will use your stolen information to file a false tax return that results in a large refund. The IRS has said that most of these false returns are submitted early in the filing period leaving the victims unaware until they file a return later, only to find one has already been submitted in their name.