Identity Theft on the Rise

ImageIdentity theft is rampant in this county.Don’t think you are safe because you shred like a pro or refuse to provide your social security number at the drop of a pin. Thieves are savvy folks bent on earning a buck at your expense. No stone is unturned to find their next victim.

I thought I was safe. I am not. Unfortunately, in 2013 earned income was earned using my social security number. I say this because a federal tax return has been filed with my name and social security number. I have been a tax consultant for many years. I filed taxes for hundreds of clients over the years. In order to have a tax return accepted by the IRS the name and social security number must match, otherwise the tax return is rejected and the preparer is asked to check the name against the social security number and reenter the return. It must match exactly! It is a fail safe way to know that multiple tax returns are never filed (which was an old fraud issue with the IRS). It’s a good thing.

Identity thieves are savvy though because they know —- apparently with help —– who to target when lifting someones social security number to sale for illegal purposes. They look for someone my age or a child who has no credit history and who has no income to report on a tax return. In my case the last tax return I filed was in 2011. It showed no taxable income. It was my final return. The paper told the tale. I’d not be — given lack of a Lotto win — filing a future tax return, unless I returned to work, which at my age would seem unlikely to a thief. Running a credit history on my number would have reviled another fact. I’ve been cash and carry for years. Nothing there to make a bank stand up and applaud me! I am not the person a bank likes. Not because I am a poor credit risk, far from it, I pay my bills on time. I simply decided years ago not to pay extra for the things I provide to myself every month. In my mind if I don’t have the cash I don’t need it all that much. I have never regretted that decision. I’ve lived well because of that choice I made years ago.

But, I am a Identity thieves dream come true — so much so I probably give him/her a wet dream — no tax return, no credit score. I am what they are looking for, bless their little hearts.

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Amazing isn’t it! Data breaches — e.g. for slipping a buck from one hand to another — are a real issue in America.

Because you have one of these: Image you are entitled to work in the USA. And so is someone else! Apparently!! When I telephoned the Social Security Administration I learned a few facts. First up: the 2013 reports are not available until the fall of 2014. Even then I may never learn who this culprit who use my number to earn a buck is. The only thing the nice lady at the SSA said was that I could monitor my credit reports to insure no credit had been issued in my name using my number.

Imageand it seems it works for more folks than the one it was first given to!

And, trust me on that one, I will be monitoring. Image already has my case started and will be reporting out to the other two agencies. Do I feel safer? Hell No! I envision Royce and I walking into the bank for a loan and walking out shaking our heads, in shock. It could happen. And if it does this is going to be one unhappy southern woman who can spit cotton as good as anyone.

The Federal Trade Commission will take a report but they are data collection agency and little else. Image so if you are thinking some Po-Po will pull up in a black SUV with tinted windows and hall the suspect off in handcuffs, think twice. Most likely it will never happen, although i wish it would.

Image In case you are wondering, the IRS takes this sort of thing seriously. If anything will be done with the silly-Nelly who used my number to earn a wage it will be the IRS doing it. But, again that is a long shot. The most that is likely to happen is that the filed 2013 tax return will be voided and a letter sent out stating so. I feel good that someone who is looking for a tax refund will not be receiving one. There is actually more to it than that but I won’t get into it here for fear of boring you.

Image Now, one last thought …. it occurred to me that my Medicare card also has my social security number on it followed by the letter A ….. hello y’all hearing this???? …. oh yea, this makes me fell all warm and fuzzy,

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DON’T THINK YOU ARE SAFE — never place your personal information in the trash bin, shred it instead.

 

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