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AG Nessel Re-Issues Tax Identity Theft Alert and Video Ahead of Filing Deadline

LANSING – As the April 15th tax filing deadline approaches, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing her Public Service Announcement on tax-related ID theft to urge consumers to protect themselves and be diligent against tax-related identity theft. A video highlighting tips on how to prevent tax-related identity theft can be found on the Michigan Attorney General’s YouTube page.

“Criminals are relentless in their pursuit of personal data and during tax-filing season, more so than any other time of year, financial and identifying information is flowing between filers and preparers,” Nessel said. “By following a few simple steps, consumers can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to tax-related identity theft.” 

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses stolen personal information – including, but not limited to an individual’s Social Security number (SSN) – to file a phony tax return and claim the refund for themselves. 

The IRS is often the first to inform a victim that their identity has been stolen. Steps consumers can take to best protect themselves and avoid becoming a victim include: 

  • Not giving out your SSN unless for a good reason, you’re confident you’re giving it to someone authorized to request this information, and you know how they will protect it. 
  • Filing your tax return as early as you can. 
  • If you file electronically, doing so on a secure internet connection. 
  • If filing by mail, sending your tax return directly from the post office. 
  • Researching a tax preparer thoroughly before you hand over your personal information and never sending your personal information via text or email. 
  • Reviewing the IRS’ Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft and its Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers (PDF)

REMEMBER: The IRS will never call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests, nor will they ask you to wire money, pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card, or share your credit card information over the phone. 

The Attorney General encourages those who find they are victims of any type of identity theft to follow the steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. If an individual’s SSN is compromised and tax-related identity theft is suspected, the IRS recommends that consumers: 

  • Immediately contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490; 
  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice; 
  • Complete IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit (PDF) (also available online through IRS Publication 5027 Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers (PDF)); 
  • Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper; and 
  • Remember that even if a false refund is claimed and issued in your name, identity scammers do not actually steal “your” refund. If you are legally entitled to a tax refund, being a verified victim of tax-related identity theft will not change that. Your refund may be delayed, but you will, eventually, get your refund. 

“Anyone who believes they are a victim of tax-related identity theft should contact our office,” Nessel continued. “Our Consumer Protection team remains committed to investigating complaints and holding scammers accountable.” 

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:  

Consumer Protection Team 
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form


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