Thieves using stolen social security numbers to file taxes, steal refunds

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 24, 2015)-- If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you should do it soon. Cases of tax fraud are popping up all over the country and now in Indiana where people are filing their taxes only to find out someone else has beaten them to it.

It happened to a FOX59 viewer who told us, "...we came to a problem as we were trying to e-file. It gave us an error that 'a duplicate SSN has already filed a return.'"

"This is a problem that there are currently no solutions to," said FOX59's financial expert Peter Dunn.

He pointed the finer at all the massive data breaches. Identity thieves now have droves of information on countless Americans and stealing refunds is an easy way to cash it in.

So what do you do?

Tip #1: File your taxes immediately.

"File your tax returns as quickly as you can as still do a good job," said Dunn. "Because the first person to file with your social security number in your name is gonna be the one that is accepted."

Tip #2: If you find that you're a victim, call the IRS immediately.

"There's a formal process to file like an affidavit stating your case as to what happened and when that clears you can file your real return," said Dunn.

 Tip #3: Freeze your credit; your social security number is still vulnerable.

"We're gonna be dealing with the same thing next year. As data breaches get worse, thieves have these huge profiles of our financial lives and our activities... which are gonna make tax fraud cases worse and worse and worse," said Dunn.