'Tis the season for IRS fraud - again

Mon, 11 Apr 2016

At Webster, the safety of your personal and financial information is important to us. So we want to make sure you know about potential IRS security threats and what you can do about them.

Once again, identity thieves have breached computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) looking for taxpayer information they can use to file fraudulent returns.

This time, criminals seemed to be after E-file Identity Protection (IP) PINs. These were intended to protect taxpayers whose social security numbers (SSNs) were previously obtained and used for tax fraud.

What was the damage?

Hackers were able to compromise at least some IRS IP PIN data. Around 464,000 SSNs were involved, and of those 101,000 were used to successfully access an E-file PIN.

This latest attack follows a massive data breach at the IRS in 2015, when hackers stole information from 330,000 taxpayers to successfully file bogus tax refunds and obtain $50 million in federal funds.

What can you do?

If your SSN is compromised and you think you may be victim of tax-related identity theft, take these steps:

  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice; call the number provided
  • Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Use a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then mail or fax according to instructions
  • Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper

If you have already contacted the IRS and don’t have a resolution, call the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.

At Webster, we are committed to investing in the technologies we need to provide the highest level of online security so you can feel confident your banking information and transactions are always protected.