Couple accused of stealing identities in order to receive over one million in tax refunds.
Authorities state that a couple are accused of stealing over five hundred and fifty identities from people in order to acquire one and a third million dollars in tax refunds in 2011.
Samantha Towns, 30, and Roma Sims, 34, have been arrested and will have hearings today in the United States District Court. The couple are being charged with identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Multiple victims are from the state of Kentucky and many claim their income from disability or other government assistance, according to LIsa DiSalvo an IRS agent investigating the case.
DiSalvo stated the theft had been identified as a criminal complaint through the IRS Scheme Detection Center. This department seeks out fraud through identification of numerous refunds deposited into individual bank accounts, multiple tax refunds filed through one Internet address, discovery of deductions on tax returns and unverifiable incomes.
Sims from 1253 Flagstone Square in Westerville and Towns from 2681 John Steven Way in Reynoldsburg, operated their plan posing as X-Press Taxes and Accounting Services and Express Tax & Accounting according to the IRS.
Tax filing tips can help someone prevent tax refund identity theft, but there are tax filing tips that can keep someone from becoming a citric of this crime when he is filing his taxes 2011 or his taxes for any other year. There is vital information a person must place on every return. The return needs his name and his social security number. He needs to be honest about his income, but if more than one social security return is filed for the same number may or may not send up a red flag. The IRS cannot check everyone. The checks or the debit cards need to be sent to their intended recipient.
Many people rely on their tax return to make large purchase. Some people use their taxes to buy new cars or to make other large purchases. If the IRS gets two different terms from the same social security number, it flags the return. IRS agents need to go over the return manually. The need to process a return manually can delay the return for weeks or months. The IRS needs to figure out which return is legitimate and which return needs to be processed.
A taxpayer who has followed the rules all of his life may wonder why his tax return has undergone such scrutiny. It has to do with the way the organization processes returns. The return that gets handed in first is processed first. A later return coming in later causes an investigation to be launched. There may be times when the mistake comes about because of a transcription error. There are other times when it comes about because someone has stolen the original taxpayers social security number.
Yes, you don’t want to think of your taxes for 2011 until Tax Day comes along, but you should be wary. Online scammers are planning already how to steal your identity and tax refund. The 2011 tax season’s scams include new tax credits going for donations to Japan for disaster relief, Websites that are search engine optimized and are filled with malware, dangerous e-mail, and Facebook “likejacking” techniques.
Around 19 million filed their taxes at their house for 2011 taxes. This is a six percent increase from 2010, according to a report by the IRS. During this time of year, tax-related online scams abound. Tax scammers are aware that taxpayers are putting in their personal information online, as well as storing confidential financial documents on the hard drive of the computer. They are also accessing sites to look for information on tax laws and deductions.
A representative for the security firm Sophos, Jennifer Torode, states that most people procrastinate and file their tax forms at the last minute. Scammers take advantage of the frantic behavior of these latecomers, and lure their into their deceitful webs.
There are five top scams for this season-make sure to avoid them. First, the Japan Quake scam mimics an actual law from last year to set up a means for taxpayers to donate to the Haiti Fund. Gone Phishing (a bogus IRS website that looks as though it’s a tax preparation service, but is really meant to trick someone into downloading malware) is another one that trips people up. Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is a way by which the criminal uses sites such as Google Trends to determine popular search keywords for people researching taxes, to optimize their chances of luring someone in. Likejacking on Facebook, or hiding a button over a like button directs to a link advertising a tax service, but it is actually a scam. Last, but not least, phony e-mail is used in the form of a fake message from the IRS to download a form and then give your social security number.
All of these scams have been successful on occasion, but as long as the public is made aware of them, there is less likely to be a chance that as many people will be tricked into giving personal information or allowing someone to get their documents from their hard drive.