Beware of tax identity theft and IRS imposters this tax season

Action Line

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to file a fake tax return and collect your refund.

It’s not only tax identity theft you must be aware of, it’s also IRS imposters.

“There are a lot of people that will pretend to be the IRS or sometimes even the department of taxation and they’ll call you saying oh we have a refund that’s due to you that you need to do something that takes some sort of action,” said Rona Suzuki, Director of Taxation for the state of Hawaii.

Red flags for tax season scams include an unknown person asking for personal information online or over the phone.

“If they’re asking you for personal information like your SSN, your full SSN over the phone or your banking information over the phone often times that probably an imposter.”

To protect yourself from tax identity theft, you should:

  • Use a secure internet connection if you file electronically
  • Mail your tax return directly from the post office
  • File your tax return as early as possible

“When you file early then you prevent someone else from filing again using your SSN and that prevents us from issuing a second refund.”

The State Department of Taxaction has implented an Identity Theft Protection program that is voluntary and is available online.

“It’s best if they enroll in the Identity Theft Protection program because that way if there’s any doubt they’ll always get an inquiry, a letter from us saying please validate that this return that’s filed in your name is actually filed by you.”

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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