Consumer Education, Webinars and More to Call Attention to Major Consumer Issue
The Federal Trade Commission will conduct a week of events Jan. 25-29 to raise consumer awareness about the threat posed by tax identity theft, a scam that puts thousands of people at risk every year.
Tax identity theft typically happens when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using another individual’s Social Security number and receives a refund electronically. A person typically discovers they have been a victim of tax identity theft when they go to file their own tax return, only to be informed by the Internal Revenue Service that a return has already been filed in their name.
This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week will focus on steering people to IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s one-stop resource to help identity theft victims – including tax identity theft victims – fix the problems caused by identity theft. People will have an opportunity to learn more at the following events (all times listed are Eastern):
- Jan. 26, 2 p.m.: the FTC and AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and Tax Aide Program will co-host a webinar for consumers addressing how tax identity theft happens and what people should do if they become a victim.
- Jan. 27, 11 a.m.: the FTC and the Veterans Administration (VA) will host a Twitter chat with information about tax identity theft for veterans – the chat will use the hashtag #VeteranIDTheft.
- Jan. 27, 2 p.m.: the FTC, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrayion and the VA will host a webinar with information about tax identity theft for veterans.
- Jan. 28, 1 p.m.: the FTC and the IRS will co-host a webinar with information to assist victims of tax identity theft.
- Jan. 29, 2 p.m.: the FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center will co-host a Twitter chat about tax ID theft – the chat will use the hashtag #IDTheftChat.
In addition to these events, the FTC has created a wide array of materials to help educate people about this growing issue, all of which can be found at ftc.gov/taxidtheft. The materials are available in English and Spanish, and also feature ways in which people can share information about tax identity theft with their friends and families.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.