Information provided by the Federal Trade Commission (www.consumer.ftc.gov)
Tax-related identity theft occurs when an identity thief has used your social security number to get a tax refund or a job. Unfortunately, it may be several months later that you realize it has happened when you are notified by the IRS that you were paid by an employer you don't know or that more than one tax return was filed using your social security number. It's important to note that the IRS will never send an email, text or social media message that asks for personal financial information. Notification would always come in the form of a letter. If you do receive an email that claims to be from the IRS, do not reply or click any links. Instead, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do receive an official notice from the IRS that alerts you to potential identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it and begin the recovery process. Contact the IRS immediately if you think someone has used your SSN for a tax refund or a job (toll free 1-800-908-4490). Specialists will work with you to get your tax return filed, get you any refund you are due, and protect your IRS account from identity thieves in the future. After you contact the IRS, it's important to limit the potential damage from identity theft by putting a fraud alert on your credit reports, ordering your credit reports for review and creating an Identity Theft Report by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and filing a police report.
To learn more about this serious problem and what steps you can take to protect yourself, visit IdentityTheft.gov.