Taxpayer Guide To Identity Theft

Most citizens are aware of Identity Theft and how their personal information can be used against them. Stolen Identity Tax Fraud is when someone steals your identity, files a bogus tax return in your name before you do and collects a refund check from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Mail theft is an issue year round but becomes a major issue during tax season. Thieves know that personal information will be delivered to mailboxes and their focus turns to W-2 forms. The information contained in a W-2 offers criminals the opportunity to perpetrate Identity Theft Tax Fraud and/or open credit card, bank or other accounts with the victim's information.

Some companies offer their employees electronic W-2 forms and you should consider that option with your employer. If you do receive your W-2 through the mail, there are some steps that you can take to avoid having your tax information stolen. The most important step is to simply check the mail each day as soon as possible after it gets delivered. You could also ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up and hold your mail for you. If you plan to be on vacation or away from home for an extended period when your W-2 is expected to arrive, consider placing a hold on your mail or renting a post office box.

Finally, you should get to know your neighbors. Knowing your neighbors can help prevent mail theft in neighborhoods. This affords you and your neighbors the opportunity to discern mail tampering or mail theft by thieves versus routine mail retrieval by residents.  If you suspect mail tampering or mail theft that is in progress, you should report the activity to the police immediately. Providing accurate descriptions of the people or vehicles involved is very important.
If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity information and may file a bogus tax return in your name, refer to the information that is contained in these links to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers
Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft (PDF)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends these tips to protect your identity. 

Identity Protection Tips

Thieves can obtain personal information from a variety of means.  They frequently target mail and seek W-2 forms and other documents that contain your Social Security number. If someone has misused your Social Security number or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, Social Security cannot resolve these problems. But there are several things that you should do. That information is contained in this link.

Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number (PDF)

Tax ID Theft

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St. Cloud Police Department
 101 11th Ave. N.
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Ph: 320-345-4444
Fx: 320-345-4135
Emergency: 911