ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – A St. Charles County man says he’s the victim of a kind of identity theft trifecta, involving a pre-paid debit card, the IRS, and the Anthem Insurance data breach.
Joe Lograsso said his problems began late last month when it got an unexpected letter in the mail.
"It started with a Green Dot reloadable debit card and I could not figure out why I got it," he said.
Lograsso called Green Dot to explain the situation. They told him the preloaded debit card was issued using his Social Security Number, but Lograsso said he knew nothing about it. He asked them to freeze the card.
"I called Green Dot back on Monday and the girl told me there was an attempt to deposit $5,912 on that card on the 25th, the day after it was frozen," he said.
That deposit was supposedly a tax refund from the IRS, but here's the kicker: Joe Lograsso and his wife haven’t even filed their taxes for the year. But letters from the IRS indicates someone else has been using their Social Security Numbers to file for—and receive—their income tax refunds.
Lograsso suspects he and his wife were victims of the Anthem data breach.
‘‘I’ve spent about six hours on the telephone with this; three trips to the police department; I’ve been to the bank,” he said.
The IRS hears about this type of identity fraud all the time, particularly during tax season. And while the IRS is getting better at catching more of the fraudulent returns, the bad news is that victimized taxpayers have to go through the painstaking process of verifying their actual identity to authorities. This usually includes filing a police report and special IRS forms, along with your tax return. And in those cases, returns typically take even longer to be mailed out.
In the event your tax return is rejected because someone else has filed using your Social Security Number, you should visit IRS.gov or call the IRS immediately to begin the process of filing a new return.