Woman Stunned While Filing Taxes

Woman Stunned While Filing Taxes

In a startling turn of events, Raylynn Atkinson, a dental assistant and mother from West Jordan, Utah, recently uncovered a disturbing case of identity theft and Social Security number misuse when attempting to file for unemployment after losing her job in January.

Atkinson’s troubles began when she discovered three additional W-2 forms from employers she had never worked for, prompting suspicion that her Social Security number had been compromised.

Taking matters into her own hands, Atkinson contacted one of the employers listed on the unfamiliar W-2 forms, only to confirm her worst fears – someone was using her Social Security number for employment.

Shockingly, the IRS later corroborated the distressing news, revealing that her Social Security number had been linked to several jobs beginning in 2022, permanently attaching them to her record.

As Atkinson sought resolution, she faced challenges in obtaining an identity theft pin from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The complications escalated when accessing her Experian account became problematic, raising uncertainties about the most effective use of the provided identity theft pin.

For victims of identity fraud, immediate action is imperative. Essential steps include freezing credit, contacting credit bureaus, filing a report with law enforcement, and completing IRS Form 14039 to document the fraud. Additionally, reaching out to the Social Security Administration is recommended to cross-verify reported wages.

Woman Stunned While Filing Taxes

The broader issue of Social Security number fraud is then explored, highlighting its prevalence and the significant financial losses incurred annually. The Federal Trade Commission received over a million reports of identity theft in the previous year, underscoring the alarming scale of the problem.

Delving into the methods employed by fraudsters, the article discusses how hackers and scammers obtain Social Security numbers through data breaches or by targeting individuals with phishing emails and phone calls.

It sheds light on the creation of fake AI-written job postings to extract Social Security numbers from unsuspecting job applicants, illustrating the diverse strategies employed by these malicious actors.

The profound consequences of identity theft are emphasized, including wiped-out bank accounts, ruined credit histories, and victims facing false arrests for crimes they did not commit. A specific case is highlighted where a victim had to spend $19,000 in attorney fees to rectify the misuse of their Social Security number for a $150,000 loan.

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As tax season emerges as a prime time for scammers, the article provides practical advice on safeguarding personal information. It underscores the importance of filing taxes early, obtaining an identity protection PIN, and being cautious of phishing emails or calls claiming to be from the IRS.

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