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Sandy woman reports ID theft after filing her taxes

A local woman reported to Sandy Police on Monday, Feb. 24, that someone had stolen her son’s Social Security number.

The woman told police that after she filed her tax return, the IRS rejected it because her son’s Social Security number — which she included on the form to claim him as a dependent — already was used in filing someone else’s taxes.

Police Chief Kim Yamashita said the investigation is ongoing and the police department often deals with cases like this one.

“Especially around tax time,” she said.

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

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

She said it’s up to Sandy Police now.

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

Mamie Carter, of the Sandy Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office, said tax preparers have seen this problem increase over the past two to three years, and the IRS hasn’t overlooked 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 the possibility of identity fraud.

Carter said people often find out during tax season they have been the victims of identity theft.

When taxes are filed electronically with Jackson Hewitt, sometimes the company gets a bounce back stating that a taxpayer’s identity has already been claimed on another tax form. That’s when they have to tell their customers.

“It’s hard to tell someone that,” said Carter, whose mother has been dealing with the aftermath of an identity theft for years.

Although she acknowledged 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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