Fraud has become rampant in the digital era. With scammers using all sorts of tactics, including phishing schemes in which thieves fraudulently convince people to disclose their social security numbers and other key information. Or it can involve hacking employers, companies, and governmental agencies for massive data hauls. The IRS is not immune to the effects of this fraud, as it is constantly trying to stay ahead of the incredibly sophisticated methods that thieves use to obtain personal data with the intention of filing fake tax returns.
A few residents of Illinois who were defrauded in this manner have recently received some semblance of justice when Shameka Carr, of Poplar Grove, pled guilty of federal mail fraud and of stealing the identity of a Rockford, Illinois resident. This plea settled thirteen federal charges she faced for a scheme to defraud the IRS, including access device fraud, six charges of mail fraud, and six charges of aggravated identity theft.
Carr was charged with stealing the identities of numerous residents of Rockford, Belvidere, and Carpentersville, Illinois, including their social security numbers and dates of birth. She would use this information to file false income tax returns on behalf of these individuals and have the IRS send refunds via U.S. Treasury checks or prepaid debit cards to her. Carr committed these acts between 2012 and 2014 and reportedly defrauded the IRS of $1,026,284. With her guilty plea, Carr was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison and will follow that with three years of supervised release and will have to pay $365,000 in restitution.
Unfortunately, identity thieves are everywhere and are always looking for new ways to get your coveted personal information. That is why it is important to remain vigilant and to take steps to protect yourself, including credit monitoring, up to date firewall and antivirus software, a physical safe, and minimizing the number places where your personal information is written. In addition, be wary of anyone who asks for your social security number over the phone, as you are likely being scammed. Many people have fallen prey to fake IRS representatives, who seek personal information or threaten people with IRS collections action or incarceration if they do not cooperate.
Contact a Tax Attorney
If someone has fraudulently stolen your tax return, you need to take immediate action. Call The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas. I have been a tax lawyer for over twenty years, have a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation, and am licensed to practice in the United States Tax Court. I can help you navigate any IRS tax issue. Contact The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 to schedule a consultation or visit our website today.