For the second time this week someone I know has become the victim of identity theft. Again the person’s Social Security number was used fraudulently to file something with the IRS.
As I write each year, taxpayer identity theft is an ever growing problem. The best preventive option is to file your tax returns as early as possible. The IRS will take the first return filed. File first and beat the fraudsters.
Identity theft is not just an inconvenience, it is a serious problem. One that you want to document promptly. First, call your local police and file a report. Be sure to get and keep a copy of the police report. Second, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to 1) create an Identity Theft Report and 2) file a complaint. By reporting the theft to the FTC, you will be able to create an Identity Theft Affidavit.
The FTC has a Fighting Back Against Identity Theft website. Even if you haven’t been a victim of identity theft, the FTC recommends that you check your credit reports. Use this link to ensure you get the truly free report and that you aren’t using an imposter site.