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Fraudulent Tax Returns and Refunds

If you’ve been a victim of an online data breach, or have had any personal identifying information stolen, take caution. This could be the first step toward tax fraud. Scammers use stolen names and Social Security numbers to file phony electronic tax returns and receive fraudulent refunds in the mail. Last year, 1.6 million Americans were victims of ID theft and tax refund scams.

Fraudulent Tax Returns – Letter Carrier Unravels Scam

Identity theft scammers can use personal information to file a fraudulent tax refund. Watch to find out more.

Identity Fraud – Tax Refund Scam

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return to receive a fraudulent tax refund. Watch to find out more about these scams.

Protect Yourself From Tax Return and Refund Fraud

  • Alert financial institutions about fraud right away

    If you suspect you’re a victim of tax fraud, alert your financial institutions to prevent scammers from opening new accounts.

  • Don't accept mailings for strangers

    If a stranger asks you to accept a mailing at your residence, or to tape a fictitious name to your mailbox, don’t do it!

  • Check your bank statements regularly

    Check your credit card and bank activity statements regularly and report all suspicious activity immediately.

  • Change your passwords

    If you think someone is using your personal information, change logins, passwords, and PINs for your accounts.

  • Learn how to avoid fraudulent returns

    To learn more about how to avoid fraudulent tax returns, visit the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

Have You Witnessed This Scam?

If you’ve been affected by a fraudulent tax return or refund scam and the U.S. Mail® has been used in any way, we want to help. Please report tax fraud.

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