Indy woman’s fraudulent W-2 sparks warning about tax fraud

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 26, 2016) – It’s tax season and this week a lot of people have started to get their W-2s in the mail.

That also means it’s a time when a lot of tax fraud gets reported.

According to one police report, an Indianapolis woman found out this week her personal information had been stolen after she got her W-2.

Opening her mailbox and grabbing her W-2, the woman found out a suspect had stolen her personal information to get a job.

The fraudulent W-2 included the victim’s name, address and social security number, but it wasn’t from her employer.

“This is a perfect example of how cyber criminals are one step ahead of law abiding citizens just trying to file their taxes,” said financial planner Peter Dunn.

Dunn said with more personal information stored online, tax filing fraud is a growing problem.

“This is going to be a really hairy tax season. 2016 will be one of the scariest times ever to file your taxes,” said Dunn.

“You’re kidding yourself if you think your information is not out there and we see it grow every season. This is a real threat,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Last year, the Indiana Attorney General’s office received 425 complaints about tax identity fraud.

Many victims don’t even realize they’ve been hit until it’s time to file their taxes.

“We’ve seen it grow this year and the only way I know to prevent it is to file as soon as you can,” said Zoeller.

The attorney general says the best piece of advice to avoid falling victim to tax fraud is simply to file your taxes as quickly as possible.

“The longer you wait, the more opportunity you’ve given criminals to get your tax refund,” said Zoeller.

“File quickly,” agrees Dunn. “Don’t rush because you want to make sure you have the right information, but don’t wait until March or April. Get it done now.”

Anyone who feels they’ve been targeted with any sort of tax fraud or identity theft can contact either the attorney general's office or the IRS to file a complaint.

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