ID thieves fail to steal $39M from Hoosier taxpayers

39,000 fraudulent returns stopped

INDIANAPOLIS - Thirty-nine thousand Hoosiers won’t have to fight to convince the state their tax refund was cashed in by an identity thief, thanks to Indiana's new strategy.

This is the first year that the Indiana Department of Revenue scanned all state returns through the LexisNexis database to ensure the right person was getting their money.

In all, the use of the LexisNexis technology in 2014 has stopped $39 million in refunds being mailed to crooks.

Only 1,500 returns were stopped last year, without the use of LexisNexis.

The Department of Revenue tells the Call 6 Investigators that identity thieves can be traced to IP addresses around the world and in the southeastern part of the United States.

Investigators are working with local and federal law enforcement partners in exposing the would-be thieves behind the IP addresses.

The agency has not only stepped up the use of technology to identify fake returns, but has also beefed up its investigations efforts.

The investigative team has spent the past several months trying to locate the scam artists. Many of the would-be thieves are using computers to commit their crimes,  so finding them is labor intensive, and it's possible the crooks could never see the inside of a courtroom.

The plan to stop identity thieves also included having 30,000 Hoosiers take an identity quiz before receiving their refund. This was the first year that was done.

The Indiana Department of Revenue in 2014 also blocked an additional $39 million in education credits and other deductions that people tried to claim.

The denied claims were made by legitimate taxpayers who could not prove why they deserved the credit.

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