MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A word of warning this tax season: Crooks could be out to steal your personal information and file taxes before you even know it.
Tax professionals say it’s becoming a major problem, especially in the age of technology.
There has been several tax fraud cases reported in Murfreesboro alone.
In early February, Donna Thompson went to a tax preparer to file her 2015 taxes only to find out they had been rejected.
She later went to the Internal Revenue Service to find out why.
“The IRS Agent pulled up the information and she said someone had filed me on his taxes,” Thompson said. “I check my credit report often. It was shocking.”
Apparently someone in West Tennessee filed taxes claiming the home she used to own, and currently has a lien on it, and used her as a dependent.
The IRS had sent her a special pin number to that address to use when filing, but the mail was returned.
“It’s frightening, too, because when people get a hold to your information, they can out credit cards, you know, buy houses and cars with your information,” Thompson said.
Bob Weaver has been a Certified Public Accountant preparing tax returns for 25 years. He said tax fraud is always a major problem nationwide this time of year.
“It’s beginning to be more of a problem each year; we seem to have a few more incidents like that,” he explained.
Weaver said there have been more fraudulent cases since the beginning of electronic filing, particularly when someone is using unsecured WiFi.
News 2 talked with another tax fraud victim by phone who didn’t want to be identified. She said she filed a basic tax return using Turbo Tax.
“The next day I got an email that said that the IRS had rejected it, and … that my identification number, which is my social security number had already been used and already been filed,” the tax fraud victim said.
It both shocked and surprised her.
“It makes you feel angry that, you know, that people out there are doing stuff like this. You know if you want a tax return get out there and work,” she said.