Shocker! IRS Refunds Nearly $4 Billion Dollars to Identity Thieves!
The U.S. Inspector General released a report Wednesday indicating thousands of people are getting refunds from IRS they have no business receiving.
While the report indicated the IRS has greatly stepped up efforts to verify the identity of those filing for refunds, IRS officials say identity thieves have massively increased their attempts to steal money from not only the IRS but refund recipients.
The IRS stopped more than $12 billion dollars worth of fraud attempts, up from $8 billion the year before. But that doesn't mean people aren't still stealing massive amounts of money.
According to a report from Northwest Cable News:
"The IRS sent a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds went to a lone address in Shanghai.
In the U.S., more fraudulent returns went to Miami than any other city. Other top destinations were Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Houston."
Identity theft is the primary way scammers are getting away with it, according to the report:
"Thieves often steal Social Security numbers from people who don't have to file tax returns, including the young, the old and people who have died, the report said. In other cases, thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns before the legitimate taxpayer files."
The IRS says they received over 1.6 million reports of identity theft this last year from filers, up from 1.2 million the year before.