IRS Reports Spike in Identity Theft


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report that said the IRS has discovered 245,000 cases of identity theft in 2010. These were incidences where Social Security numbers of unsuspecting taxpayers were used to either secure a tax refund or to get work and avoid taxes. This number represents a huge increase from a mere 52,000 in 2008.

According to Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, even this increased number may not reflect the true number of cases. “The number of reported cases significantly undercounts the actual numbers because there tends to be a significant delay in detecting most cases of tax-related identity fraud,” said Stephens.

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