Employment Identity Theft on the Rise

What To Do If You're the Victim of Employment Identity Theft

Employment identity theft isn't a new topic for us. It does, however, seem that the crime is on the rise which means we need to focus on it a bit more. According to the IRS, they're getting more and more complaints of this particular crime. Here's what you need to know.

What It Is

Employment identity theft happens when someone uses your information (name and social security number) to work in the United States. This usually happens when an illegal alien comes into the country and needs to find legitimate work (and I don't care what side of the illegal immigration debate you fall on, facts are facts).

Because illegal immigrants don't have social security numbers of their own and they need one to make a decent wage, they "borrow" someone else's (without permission) and work under a stolen identity.

How It Affects You

Think it doesn't matter if someone else is working using your social security number? The IRS doesn't agree. When you earn more money, you're responsible for more taxes and if Mr. or Ms. Pseudo you doesn't pay those taxes, who's stuck footing the bill? You are.

What To Do

If the IRS sends you a notice that you haven't paid taxes on all of your income, find out exactly what they're talking about. If it does turn out that your identity has been stolen, you need to go to your local police department and file a report. Once the report has been filed, contact the IRS, tell them you've been the victim of employment identity theft and that a police report has been filed.

The IRS is getting wise to this crime so they will be willing to help you. In fact, there are IRS investigators who specialize in catching these identity theft criminals. Just make sure you're up front and honest and address the situation as quickly as possible.

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