Hundreds of Hoosiers victims of tax refund theft in 2012

$1.6 million in stolen refunds recovered in 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - The IRS and Indiana Department of Revenue will start processing tax forms Friday morning. Although taxpayers will be expecting refunds, the Call 6 Investigators learned hundreds of Hoosiers were victims of tax refund theft last year.    

Joseph Alford is a victim of tax refund theft. He said the IRS is investigating after someone in Texas used his identity to hijack his tax return last year.

"It's frustrating to think someone can steal your identity -- that easily," Alford said. Until the problem is resolved, Alford can't file his 2013 forms.

Identity theft is widespread and finding the thief could take months.

In 2012, officials said 1,500 Hoosiers were victimized. Authorities said in Indiana, it's possible that victims may know the people responsible for stealing their refund.

In a majority of cases, the Call 6 Investigators learned the theft of information came at the hands of boyfriends, girlfriends or close friends.

And in other cases, adults are damaging the future credit of children by using their social security numbers to claim a larger refund.   

"I'd like to see more security things to put in place but I think you will always...find ways to get money," Alford said.
    
The Indiana Department of Revenue gave the Call 6 Investigators behind-the-scene access to where the paper returns are processed.

An extra 100 temporary workers will join the workforce to help sort and scan millions of pieces of paper.
   
"We do anticipate we will be able to identify several thousand tax returns that are being subject to identity theft,” Department of Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley said.

At least $1.6 million in stolen refunds were recovered in 2013. Officials hope to uncover more fraudulent forms and keep strangers from profiting on stolen personal information.

Alford said he filed his taxes with a preparer and has no idea how someone was able to get his information.
  
If you find out your refund was stolen, you will have to prove your identity, but State officials can then cut a new check in seven days.

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