Tax Time is Open Season for ID Thieves

Tax Day is on the horizon. It’s a date that few consumers look forward to. For many of us, April 15 brings to mind headache-inducing forms, meetings with accountants or tax preparers, and long lines at the Post Office. However, there is one group that increasingly looks forward to tax season as lucrative: identity thieves.

Brian Karrick, a meteorologist in Minneapolis, was shocked to see that someone else was using his identity to file taxes. "It's one of those things where you don't necessarily think you're going to be the one to have this happen to you," said Karrick in a recent KARE 11 TV report. "I'm looking at the computer going, 'how is it that somebody used my Social Security Number?'"

Karrick is not alone. According to the Department of Treasury, 1.6 million consumers were affected by tax identity fraud in the first six (6) months of 2013 alone. Recently a single fraudster named Rashia Wilson, who openly referred to herself as the “queen of IRS tax fraud,” pleaded guilty in 2013 to fraud charges totaling at least $3 million.