Emphasizing an earlier post regarding early filing of tax returns is another news story about tax fraud. The Miami Herald recently reported Frankie Jermaine Anderson has been charged in connection with $12 million in identity theft. He is charged with defrauding the government from filing fraudulent tax returns. Upon being arrested, he still had over $100,000 in un-cashed tax return checks. Anderson had used the proceeds to buy homes and luxury cars.
In a growing crime wave, perpetrators across the country are stealing the identities of various people — including prisoners, the dead, the poor and even children — who don’t file income tax returns in order to avoid having the IRS detect duplicate filings, authorities say. They also swipe people’s IDs to file phony tax returns.
Combined, the schemes have robbed the U.S. government of billions of dollars yearly since the crime began spreading in 2008, according to a Treasury Department report.
Authorities say identity theft is fueling the fraud: Florida has the highest rate in the country, with 178 complaints per 100,000 residents last year, followed by Georgia, with 120 complaints per 100,000 residents, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
But Florida’s rate is dwarfed by that in the Miami area, with 324 complaints per 100,000 residents.
In the past year, the U.S. attorney’s office says it has charged 125 defendants accused of about $138 million in tax-refund fraud.
Filing your taxes early will help mitigate the risk of your social security number being used to file a fraudulent return. A little extra motivation to overcome the procrastination blues!
For more ideas for identity theft prevention, visit www.hvshred.com