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Warning: Even a ‘Dumb’ Criminal Could Steal Your Tax Refund

Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs is a member of CPAmerica International, an association of CPA and consulting firms that provides industry knowledge including insightful articles, to help member firms serve clients and other individuals and organizations.

Apr 3, 2014

The crime of identity theft has become so rampant that the IRS has labeled it one of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.

If nefarious individuals can gain access to your name and Social Security number, one scam is to file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf claiming a fake refund, which is deposited into an account controlled by the swindlers.

Consider the case of two men who were recently convicted of this crime. The details of their escapade surely have earned them a nomination for the title of “dumbest criminal.”

It seems these two geniuses filed a federal income tax return using the name and Social Security number of one Eric Holder. Now, if that name rings a bell, it should. Eric Holder is the attorney general of the United States.

But in this case, the dynamic duo claimed that Eric Holder worked at Walmart. They filed a return falsely claiming a refund and requested that the refund be loaded onto a prepaid debit card, which listed one of their home addresses as the mailing address.

Apparently, the folks at the IRS recognized that their boss did not work at Walmart. Not only did they not issue the refund, but federal law enforcement officials moved in. Now the two masterminds have been tried, convicted and fined – and they’ll be spending several months in jail.

I don’t need to worry about identity theft because no one wants to be me. – Jay London, American comedian

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