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Identity theft tax fraud nets fraudster five years

March 14, 2012

Doing your taxes is at best a nuisance. When somebody steals your identity and pockets your tax refund, it's a nightmare, delaying your refund for months and likely requiring weeks of inconvenience and hours of paperwork.

Identity theft tax fraud is a worse problem than ever this tax season. It's hard to feel sympathy when the fraudsters get put away for awhile, like Melinda Clayton of Montgomery, Alabama. From a Department of Justice Press Release:

According to the indictment and plea agreement, Clayton stored tens of thousands of stolen means of identification (names and Social Security numbers) at her house, which came from numerous sources, including private companies, health clinics and prisons. Dale and [a co-defendant] used the stolen identities to file false returns that fraudulently claimed tax refunds. They directed the refunds to bank accounts and debit cards.

Bye-bye. Always shelter your social security number and shred any documents with it before throwing them out.

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