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Tax and Government Fraud Cases Spiked 68% in 2022
[March 30, 2023]

Tax and Government Fraud Cases Spiked 68% in 2022

Taxpayers may get lower refunds this year, but that's not stopping scammers from trying to steal them.

Allstate Identity Protection is reporting a 68% spike in tax and government fraud cases in 2022 over 2021. In fact, tax refund fraud was the third most reported fraud type in 2022, according to the Allstate Identity Protection Fraud in Focus report.

"We get a lot of calls about identity theft every year during tax season," said Dustin Hofstein, Chief Service Officer at Allstate Identity Protection. "Refunds are stolen when a scammer uses your Social Security number to file a tax return. Unfortunately, people often don't know they're a victim of tax fraud until they file their taxes, which is why we advise filing as early as possible."

The IRS flagged $5.7 billion in tax fraud in 2022, an there were nearly 8 million reports of suspicious tax-season activities.

Allstate Identity Protection is reminding people to be diligent and act on warning signs early to keep their identity and money safe.

5 warning signs of tax identity theft

  1. You file your taxes and they're declined. This is a sign a scammer has already used your Social Security number to file a phony tax return. As a result, the IRS can't accept your electronic or paper return.
  2. IRS records don't have your correct employment history or wages.
  3. The IRS notifies you about an additional tax or refund offset you weren't expecting.
  4. You get a letter from the IRS saying your online account has been deactivated.
  5. You've been assigned an employer identification number you didn't request.

"One of the best ways to protect yourself is to safeguard your Social Security number," Hofstein said. "Never keep your Social Security card in your car, wallet or purse, and be careful sharing your number, even when asked."

Consider signing up for an identity protection service for extra peace of mind. Allstate Identity Protection reimburses out-of-pocket costs for various types of fraud, including stolen tax refunds.

To learn more about 2023 fraud predictions and the most prevalent scams of 2022, check out Identity Fraud in Focus, the Allstate Identity Protection quarterly report. It includes insights from millions of identity theft cases to keep families safer online.

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