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Some Wisconsin residents hit with tax fraud scam

By Adam Schrager, aschrager@wisctv.com
Published On: Apr 11 2014 06:10:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2014 06:12:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. -

As numerous Wisconsin residents file their tax returns this weekend, they can only hope they don't get the same error message from the IRS that Lisa Oxton did.
"My Social Security Number had been used to file a return already and so had my husband's," she said. "My first thought was, 'Oh my gosh, someone stole our identity.'"
She has since had to re-file her taxes manually with no knowledge of when she will get her refund from the IRS. Further, she's gone through all of the major credit reporting agencies and will continue to monitor her personal information every 30-45 days for the foreseeable future.
"I'm a positive person and I was hoping this was really just a typographical error, but it doesn't look to be the case," she said. "We're concerned about it and we will be vigilant in monitoring our credit reports going forward."
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue launched a new program this year to try to stop tax identity theft before it occurs. If a tax return is viewed as suspicious, the filer could receive an identity verification quiz with questions only the real taxpayer would know so as to prevent a false refund from being sent out.
"The goal is to prevent people from getting a fraudulent return through our system," said Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler. "We've seen many cases where people have been asked to take the quiz and they've chosen not to take it or haven't yet taken it and we think those are cases where they may be fraudsters and they've decided to go somewhere else."
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) introduced legislation in Congress yesterday to allow the IRS to notify taxpayers if they have been victimized by identity theft. Currently, privacy laws prohibit the IRS from telling consumers like Lisa Oxton that her identity may have been victimized.

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