The Federal Trade Commission will conduct a week of events Jan. 26-30 to raise consumer awareness about the threat posed by tax identity theft, a scam that puts thousands of consumers at risk every year.
Tax identity theft typically happens when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using another individual’s social security number, receiving a refund electronically. A consumer typically discovers they have been a victim of tax identity theft when they go to file their own tax return, only to be informed by the Internal Revenue Service that a return has already been filed in their name.
This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week will include:
- Jan. 27, 2 p.m.: an FTC webinar for consumers, co-hosted with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and AARP addressing how tax identity theft happens and what consumers should do if they become a victim.
- Jan. 28, 1 p.m.: the FTC and the Veterans Administration will host a webinar with information about tax identity theft for veterans.
- Jan. 29, 3 p.m.: the FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center will co-host a Twitter chat about tax ID theft – consumers can join the conversation on #IDTheftChat.
In addition to these events, the FTC has created a wide array of materials to help educate consumers about this growing issue, all of which can be found at ftc.gov/taxidtheft. The materials are in multiple languages, and also feature ways in which consumers can share information about tax identity theft with their friends and families.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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