Avoiding Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit." - Federal Trade Commission
Please review the resources below to learn more about how to protect yourself from identity theft.
- FSAfety News - The October 2008 issue has some practical tips to help you guard against Identity Theft
- Fighting Back Against Identity Theft by the Federal Trade Commission
- What Should I Do To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft? by the U.S. Department of Justice
- Student Aid and Identity Theft by the U.S. Department of Education
- Identity Theft Resource Center ("IRTC") - is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft
- Identity Theft Resources by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a non-profit consumer and advocacy organization
- Identity Theft Information by the U.S. Social Security Administration
- Identity Theft Information by the U.S. Better Business Bureau
- Fight Identity Theft - The goal of Fight Identity Theft is to make you more aware of the risks of identity theft and to present clear steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Taking Charge - What to Do & What to Know If Your Identity is Stolen
- Statement of Rights for Identity Thefy Victims
Verification of 2012 IRS Income Tax Return Information for Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft
A victim of IRS identity theft who has been unable to obtain a 2012 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT must provide a signed copy of the 2012 paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a signed copy of IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit” if one was submitted to the IRS. If the individual did not keep a copy of Form 14039 or the IRS did not require him or her to submit one, he or she may provide one of the following:
- A statement signed and dated by the individual indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the matter. The statement must also indicate that the individual submitted a Form 14039 to the IRS, but did not keep a copy of it or that he or she was not required to file the form; or
- A copy of a police report if it was filed related to the IRS identify theft.
What You Need If the IRS Determines You Are a Victim of Identity Theft
When the IRS determines that a tax filer has been, or likely was, a victim of identity theft, it will not allow that tax filer to obtain tax information through the use of the IRS DRT or to receive an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the matter has been resolved by the IRS. Resolution could take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the case. Therefore, in instances when the tax filer has been the victim of identity theft, the institution may accept for verification purposes a signed copy of the paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS along with additional documentation as follows:
- If the tax filer had submitted to the IRS an IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit,” a copy of that signed form must be submitted to the institution with the signed copy of the paper tax return.
- In some instances, the IRS does not require the tax filer to submit an IRS Form 14039 or the tax filer may not have saved a copy of the IRS Form 14039 that was submitted to the IRS. In these instances, the tax filer must submit in addition to the signed copy of the tax return, either a signed and dated statement stating that the tax filer was a victim of IRS identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the matter or a copy of a police report that may have been filed by the tax filer.