Identity theft is a Serious Problem (espaƱol)

Identity theft is a serious problem and you should know what to do if you become a victim. Read about recent IRS legal action. First of all, you need to fill out and submit the identity theft affidavit form from the IRS web site IRS (F14039). If you have filled out and submitted the form recently and want to inquire about your case, please contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free, at 1-800-908-4490.

Victims of identity theft may have fraudulent tax returns filed in their name, so if your return is rejected by the IRS, make sure you obtain some type of report stating why the return was rejected.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft: Know These Facts

If you have not become a victim, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself:

1- The IRS will never send you an email, so if you get one, its a fake or a phishing scam. Send the email to the IRS at

2- Become aware of what a phishing scam email looks like and do not enter your personal information on an internet page connected to an email. There are many emails that look like they originated from your bank, the UPS, FEDX, IRS, and other reputable companies or agencies, but are actually scams. I call it scam bait because they are waiting for you to click on the email link so they can catch you in their scam. When you click on this email link, spy software is downloaded onto your computer.

3- The IRS will never call you, so do not give your personal information to anyone over the phone, regardless of whom they say that they are. The IRS will not call you on the phone to threaten you with criminal prosecution or jail time, for not filing IRS forms. Tell them to send you a written request and hang up if they ignore your privacy concerns.

4- Be careful not to leave your wallet or purse in a shopping cart or in your unattended car, someone may steal it.

5- Get an internet security program for your computer. If you are on a fixed income and cannot afford to buy a program like Norton, Microsoft has a free one that is one of the best called "Microsoft Security Essentials" that you can download at this link:

6- Do not allow your tax return preparer to outsource the processing of your personal tax return overseas. Although many large firms are doing this, I believe it puts you at risk for identity theft. You may not have been told that they are doing this, so call them immediately to find out.

7- Do not under any circumstances, allow the IRS to issue you a debit card related to a tax refund

8- Request a Security Freeze on your credit report by Certified Mail, never online.

9- When shopping, never give your email address to the store when making a purchase, it will probably result in your address being sold to marketing firms and then eventually being sold to scammers.

Are You A Victim and Need Help?

Fill out the Identity theft affidavit and file it with the IRS. Fax it to the IRS at 855-807-5720 or mail it to

Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 9039
Andover MA 01810-0939

Security Freeze:

10- Notify the three credit reporting agencies by certified mail and place a security freeze on your credit. Tell them in the letter that your identity has been stolen and that you want to put a fraud hold on your credit. Include the IRS affidavit with the freeze request.

11- DO NOT REQUEST A SECURITY FREEZE ON THE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY'S WEBSITE: You will not be protected by the consumer protection statutes that require notification by certified mail to the credit agencies.

12- You do not have to be a current victim to request a freeze on your account with the credit reporting agencies. Write them a letter, send it certified mail, ask to have the freeze placed on your account, and send a check for $10.00 with the request. Do this to lock your credit file.

Florida Residents Have Special Rights?

13- You have additional protection under Florida Statute 501.005. See credit bureau notice for Florida consumers "security freeze" and don't forget to send the letters certified mail to the credit reporting agency, which is a requirement under Florida Statute section 501. Never do this online.

3 Main Credit Reporting Agency Addresses:

Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022

Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348