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Dept. Of Revenue Using Tools To Stop Identity Theft Through Tax Returns


More than $51 million in fraudulent and erroneous refunds and credits were blocked last tax season by the state Department of Revenue, due in part to identity verification tools that can also protect against identity theft.

Director of Criminal Investigation for the department, Justin Shemanski says after seeing a strong effort to steal identities, the department worked to up verification methods for identies...

"...The process in doing this is once we identify something that seems to be suspicious, we will send letters to customers and taxpayers, asking them to further identify their identity..."

Shemanski says they have a set of business rules that show attributes of fraud. He says they apply those business rules to the tax returns...

"...We have staff that reviews those returns and make a determination whether or not it was filed by the individual or if was filed by somebody else. There are some manual reviews like that. In addition we use the identity verification letters to pick some of these out..."

Shemanski says if they see a problem, they will send an official letter to check on the person's return. He says they will never call the taxpayer on the telephone if there is a problem. Many scammers will call and claim to be a government source and say there's a problem and they need more information.

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