What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to commit fraud or deception for economic gain by filing fraudulent tax returns, opening credit accounts, stealing from banks and more.
Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing segments of financial crime in America. A study by Javelin Strategy & Research stated that 42 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2021, costing consumers $52 billion in total losses.
According to the LA Rev Stat §14:67.16, the crime of identity theft is punishable in the State of Louisiana by imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
Examples of tax related identity theft
Undocumented workers or other individuals use your social security number to get a job. The employer then reports W-2 wages they earned under your social security number to us. When you file your return based on your real W-2 income, it appears that you failed to report all of your income on your return.
An identity thief may file a return using your social security number to receive a refund. If the thief already filed a return using your social security number, our records will show that you already filed, received your refund, and the return you just submitted is a second copy or duplicate.
If we send you a notice, or letter that leads you to believe someone may have used your social security number fraudulently, contact us immediately by phone or in writing as directed in the notice. Our representatives will work with you to help resolve the problem. For example, you should contact us if the notice shows one of the following:
- More than one tax return was filed under your name and social security number.
- Our records show that you received wages from an employer that you do not recognize.
Note: We do not send emails asking for personal taxpayer information. If you receive this type of request, do not respond. It may be an attempt from identity thieves to get your private tax information.
Avoid Becoming an Identity Theft Victim:
Get a copy of your credit report. Under a new federal law, the credit reporting agencies (credit bureaus) must provide individuals with one free credit report each year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228.
Be informed. Contact the agencies below for more information.
If You Become an Identity Theft Victim:
Fill out the Louisiana Identity Theft Affidavit, Form R-2000 and submit it to the Criminal Investigations Division as instructed on the form.
Get the Identity Theft Victim Checklist and follow the guidelines
Contact the major credit reporting agencies immediately.