The Internal Revenue Service has increased its battle against identity theft, creating a special section on its Web site dedicated to helping growing numbers of tax fraud victims.
The new section includes tips for taxpayers and a special guide to assistance, ranging from contacting the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit to tips to protect against “phishing” schemes. The IRS said it is also taking further steps this tax season to prevent identity theft and detect refund fraud before it occurs.
In late 2011, a group of taxpayers received a special Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, or IP PIN, for use in filing their tax returns for this filing season. The IRS is also working to speed up case resolution, provide more training for employees who are supposed to assist identity theft victims, and increase the agency’s outreach to taxpayers.
Fighting identity theft will be an ongoing battle, however, the IRS acknowledged. Identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain. Identity theft cases are among the most complex types of incidents handled by the IRS, but the agency said it is continually reviewing its processes and policies to minimize the incidence of identity theft and to help those who find themselves victimized by it.
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