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Identity Theft and Related Tax Fraud

Our lives today are full of transactions which are likely to reveal pieces of information about us.  Whether it is a credit card number, a social security number, bank information, your name, address, or phone number, personal information may at sometime be used without your permission or knowledge. 

Identity theft is a serious crime. Once identities are stolen it can take time and money to clean up the damage of identity thieves. Here are ways to protect your personal data:

  • Limit the amount of personal information you provide on the internet. Do not respond to requests for personal or financial information through email, text, phone, or social media.
  • Enable any alerts your bank or financial vendor offers; check credit reports and consider signing up for a credit monitoring service.
  • Do your best to be diligent about minimizing risk, monitoring balances in accounts and looking for any unexplained charges or withdrawals. 
  • Report any suspicious issues immediately.

Following are some helpful resources about identity theft and related tax fraud:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Guidelines on how identity theft occurs, how to manage your information and what steps to take if you become an identity theft victim.
Identity Theft:  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft or call 1 877-ID-THEFT, the Federal Trade Commission’s toll-free ID Theft Hotline
Complaints:  https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1
Tax Fraud:  Tax Related Identity Theft

Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network
Tax Identity Theft

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
Identity Theft Information for Tax Payers
Reporting Fraud

Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR):
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Scams            
http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/identity-theft-information  
If you think you may have been a victim of identity theft with regard to your state income tax account, call or write the DOR's Taxpayer Advocate at 617-626-2280 or taxadvocate@dor.state.ma.us

National Public Radio (NPR): What Happens When Someone Else Gets Your Tax Refund http://www.npr.org/2013/02/18/172140486/what-happens-when-someone-else-gets-your-tax-refund 

Social Security Administration (SSA): Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number                   http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10064.pdf or SSA fraud line:  1-800-269-0271

Here are the numbers of the three credit bureaus to contact if your wallet or identity has been stolen:

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 
  • Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
  • Trans Union: 1-800-680 7289

For more information or to discuss legal concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP. 

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service. 


This content was last modified on: 02/18/2016

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In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

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