Identity thieves are very clever. They not only steal credit cards and drain bank accounts; in 2011, the Internal Revenue Service reported the number of fraudulent tax returns associated with identity theft at 940,000 returns, resulting in $6.5 billion in associated fraudulent refunds – according to J. Russell George, head of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It is big business for the thieves and it’s a huge headache for the taxpayers whose identities have been stolen.
Identity theft refers to someone obtaining another person’s personal details, to commit fraud or other crimes. This includes the use of a name and Social Security number not belonging to the fraudster.