Identity theft is unfortunately now, just a part of our modern life. Its so common that even the IRS is having to deal with it. The IRS was breached by hackers twice already in 2016. In fact, the breach was so bad, that the IRS scrapped their whole PIN system. The PIN system was designed to HELP identity theft victims not be hacked again. However, the system turned out to be vulnerable and was canceled.
Earlier in February 2016, the IRS was hacked and had 464,000 social security numbers and of that, over 100,000 were successfully used to access the PIN system. Yes, you read that right. The IRS was hacked and 100,000 social security numbers for taxpayers were accessed.
What where the hackers trying to accomplish?
The hackers that attacked the IRS were looking for two things. The first is a massive haul of personal information that could be used to further take over the identities of others.
The second thing is the tax payer’s refund.
Using identity theft, hackers steal your refund
Hackers have begun to take identity theft in a new direction by filing for the victim’s tax refund. They still your personal information and file a fraudulent return. Once complete, they have the refund sent to them. When you go to file your taxes, you find that the refund you thought you were owed is gone.
This is one reason you should file your taxes as quickly as you can to help prevent others from stealing it.
The main concern is that there is no defense against this type of attack. Your information can be stolen from a third party, in this case the IRS, even though you have done everything right to protect your own identity. As mentioned before, the only real defense is to file your taxes as early as possible.