Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. The first sign that most taxpayers get that they have been the victim of identity theft for tax filing purposes is when their e-filed return is rejected by the IRS.
If you find that you have become the victim of identity theft, the IRS suggests taking the following steps:
File a report with the local police
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at identitytheft.gov or by calling the Identity Theft hotline:
Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records
Respond promptly to any IRS notice by calling the number provided on the notice
Complete IRS From 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit
Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax returns, even if you must do so on paper
The IRS has an Identity Protection Specialized Unit which can be contacted by calling 1-800-908-4490. You should only call this unit if you have previously contacted IRS about your identity theft problem and do not feel that the issue has been resolved.
As part of the resolution, IRS should supply you with an identity theft PIN which will need to be included in your electronically filed returns. This number will change each year and will be supplied by IRS. If you have received a PIN from IRS, please be sure that you have provided that number to us so that we can electronically file your return.
IRS is reporting numerous cases of taxpayers being contacted by telephone and e-mails purportedly from IRS. Please be advised that the first contact IRS has with you will not be via telephone or e-mail. The first contact will be via US mail. Should you receive a phone call, simply hang up. If you are concerned, you can call IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and an IRS worker will be happy to answer your payment related questions. If you receive an e-mail, do not click on any links in the e-mail, instead forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Trade Commission has additional information on identity theft here.