It's not just credit and debit cards that cyber hackers are after these days. Criminals are also using stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns and receive tax refunds. Tax refund fraud has exploded in recent years. In this scam identity thieves typically use stolen names and Social Security numbers to file victims’ phony electronic tax returns and then receive their refunds.
It’s a growing epidemic. About 1.6 million Americans were victims of ID theft/tax refund crimes last year. We are now getting into that time of year when tax refund checks start appearing in the mail. Most are legitimate, but this scam continues. Letter Carriers watch out for tax refund checks in names that don’t generally get mail at a particular address or multiple checks addressed to the same address or apartment. They also watch for change-of-address orders, specifically requesting the forwarding of tax refund checks.
But there are some things you can do to help stop this scam. Check out the Prevention Tips.