Tax refund ID theft is growing ‘epidemic’: IRS watchdog

Friday, December 27th, 2013 @ 8:14PM

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Patrick Temple-West Reuters |
Nov. 7, 2013

Jason Reed / Reuters

J. Russell George, treasury inspector general for tax administration, says identity theft is "a growing epidemic."

WASHINGTON — More Americans’ identities were stolen in tax refund crimes in the first six months of 2013 than in all of 2012, said an Internal Revenue Service watchdog on Thursday who described the problem as "a growing epidemic."  

Tax refund fraud has exploded in recent years. Scammers typically use stolen names and Social Security numbers to file phony electronic tax forms for IRS refunds. 

About 1.6 million Americans were victims of ID theft/tax refund crimes this year through June, up from 1.2 million taxpayers in all of 2012, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, said in a report. 

"Identity theft is a growing epidemic," said J. Russell George, TIGTA’s chief. 

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