March 19th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Tax refund robbery

If you've ever given your social security number to a doctor, car dealership – anywhere – be sure to watch Randi Kaye's report on tax refund robbery. Thieves are stealing that information, filing tax returns with the stolen identity and a false income, then taking the refund from the IRS in the form of a debit card. This type of crime is a potential threat to all taxpayers; the IRS reported about $6.5 billion in refund fraud in connection with identity theft last year. That's just what they're aware of, not including the amount of money stolen and never recovered. Tune in to AC360° tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye • Taxes
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Pat Williams

    the Deputy Comm Beth Tucker is another one "out of touch".I realize some people dont have checking accounts,but there are check cashing facilities with proper id will cash your check for a fee.

    March 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  2. Sarit

    One of many reasons for our massive Federal Budget deficit.....Criminal fraud !

    March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Sharon

    I was a victim of tax fraud... not once but twice. I was treated like the criminal when I tried to clear my name with the IRS – it was awful. it took 16 months to finally get my refund and yet it managed to happen a second time. if it were not for my persistence in writing letters and getting the media to pay attention to it, I would probably be victimized over and over again each and every tax season. Keep in mind that for every false tax refund that is paid out, a second refund is paid in reparation to the legitimate taxpayer. And the IRS do not go after them all, nor do they work well with local law enforcement so often times these thieves get away with it. Millions if not billions of dollars going to some criminal ring or better yet to pay terrorists and we don't even know it! Thank you for exposing this issue.... Keep putting the government's feet to the fire so they can fix this growing problem!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Gloria Devine

      I think this has happen to a friend I know in Miami, FL. I guess I will not give my doctor or anyone like them my social number, we are warned all the time, yet we still do it. Happy you got things cleared. In her case, she is a Senior who don't file IRS tax refund forms.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • LINDA

      This just happened to me. I was told by someone at the IRS that it could take up to 180 days to receives my refund and you're saying it took 16 months?! OMG, you seriously need to tell us exactly what you did in being so persistant so we can follow up on our fraud cases. I've called IRS, SS admin, FTC, all 3 credit bureaus & my bank. I mailed my tax return with the Identity Theft affidavit on the 20th of March and IRS received it on 23rd March. Now what? idk

      March 28, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Shalannie Toler

      Sharon, this happened to me this year and I have gotten exactly the treatment you describe. Made to feel like the criminal and getting no help at all. Is there any information you can give me to help in trying to get this resolved? I am in such a desperate situation, have not been able to get financial aid for school and had to close all my accounts. Living in limbo right now. If there are any suggestions you can offer, I would be tremendously appreciative. thanks you for you thoughts, Shalannie Toler

      April 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  4. Ana

    I wonder why the IRS doesn't direct deposit on individuals bank account, and for those who doesn't have bank account should collect their digital or photo data at IRS's office in order to receive in person their tax returns. The amount of money lost pays off for technological improvement.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  5. rob

    Why would the government pay a tax refund to a debit card in the first place?

    March 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  6. emma

    So much for technology. Why on earth are tax refunds being made on debit cards???

    March 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  7. ktpaes

    Just saw the report on Anderson 360 and I don't understand how this works. I just checked out the free e-file service on the IRS website and the criminal will need a copy of last year's tax return and prior year Personal Identification Number (PIN), if applicable in addition to the SS# and this years W-2, 1099s etc. How does the criminal get these additional pieces of information?
    I was going to suggest that the IRS use the questions that credit card reporting companies ask for in order to get a free credit report. Perhaps 10 questions that the IRS and the true filer would know before filing a return. wouldn't this deter a lot of criminals?

    March 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  8. Heather

    How about if you don't have a checking account, the IRS only issues refund by check which would then make the recipient have to verify their identity at the bank where it's cashed? Yup it's slower, but better than waiting a year if your refund is stolen. Or faster still, the IRS can issue cards with the refund already on them. The cards could be authorized by your home/cell phone number just like a credit card would.

    March 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  9. Keith

    Every doctor and hospital I go to has my SS number because that is what Medicare B uses. That makes really frigging good sense to tie financial and banking records to healthcare.

    March 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  10. kate kelly

    Gee, only 6.5 million in this type of fraud? Some people in our society make that in a week or less. Just wondering if they've ever been victims, or if they're paying any substantial taxes at all...

    March 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

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