Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security Number, and other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft to commit tax refund fraud is a growing problem across the U.S., and the staff at the Vermont Department of Taxes is working hard to prevent this type of criminal activity in Vermont.
How Is Identity Theft Detected?
The Department of Taxes often discovers incidents of identity theft while reviewing tax returns for possible fraud. Tax refund fraud usually is detected when two people file tax returns for the same year using the same name and Social Security Number. While detecting tax fraud can be time-consuming, diligent monitoring by the Department has prevented hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraudulent tax refunds from going out the door this year alone.
Identity theft is a well-known problem, and can result from a data breach, scam, or loss of a wallet, criminals are capitalizing on identities that they have stolen elsewhere to victimize Vermont taxpayers.
Identity theft and fraud are two terms that are used often, and sometimes interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between the two crimes. Learn more about fraud and how to spot the differences.