Urges Taxpayers to Contact the IRS If They Suspect Tax-Related Identity Theft

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Tips for Consumers, a partnership of fourteen federal agencies managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is informing consumers that an unexpected message from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could be a warning sign that their Social Security number is being misused by an identity thief. suggests that people contact the IRS if they receive a notice that:

  • more than one tax return was filed in the consumer’s name, or
  • IRS records show the consumer was paid by an employer that he or she does not know.

People who think they have tax issues related to identity theft should let the IRS know as soon as possible, even if the taxpayer doesn’t have any evidence that the identity theft affected a tax return.  Specialists in the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit will help identity theft victims file their tax returns, get any refund they are due, and protect their IRS accounts from identity thieves in the future.  The IRS website has more information here, or consumers can call 1-800-908-4490.  The unit’s hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (local time). 

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The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a new video, How to File a Complaint, at to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

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