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Police investigate ID theft

At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, a woman came into the Sandy Police Department to report an identity theft.

The woman claimed that after attempting to file her tax return, it was rejected by the IRS because her son’s social security number was already used in filing someone else’s taxes.

Chief of Police Kim Yamashita said that the investigation is ongoing and that the Police Department deals with cases like this one quite often. “Especially around tax time,” she said.

After contacting the IRS, the woman was told to make a police report and then get back to them with the police report number.

“Federal agencies don’t usually investigate cases like these,” Yamashita said. “They’re too small.”

She said that it’s up to Sandy Police now.

Yamashita said that the department deals with tons of different types of cases like this one all the time. Unfortunately, it is difficult to contact the IRS directly so as of right now, the department is just waiting to receive information requested from the government, she said.

Mamie Carter, of the Sandy Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office, explained this is a problem they have seen increase over the last two to three years, and the IRS hasn’t missed it.

The IRS now has a program that issues citizens a six-digit Identity Theft Protection PIN (Personal Identification Number) to include when filing their taxes. If a tax return is filed without that pin number, the IRS is alerted to a possiblity of identity fraud.

Carter said that tax season is often when people find out that they have been the subjects of an identity theft.

When taxes are filed electronically with Jackson Hewitt, sometimes the company gets a bounce back stating that an individual has already been claimed. That’s when they have to tell their customers. “It’s hard to tell someone that,” said Carter, whose mother has been with dealing with the aftermath of a past identity theft for years.

Although she acknowledged that there is not a lot that can be done to prevent identity theft, Carter said to try to keep tax papers confidential. “Treat it like your social security card,” she said.



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