Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. You are probably not aware this has occurred until you attempt to file your own tax return and learn one has already been filed using your SSN. This leaves you feeling victimized and frustrated because now you are left with the difficulty of clearing your name and providing documentation as proof of identity.
Anyone with an SSN can be the victim of tax-related identity theft. Adults who file taxes, adults who do not file taxes, children, and even the deceased can have their stolen SSNs used to claim a fraudulent refund. Thieves steal your identity through card-skimming devices, unsecure Wi-Fi networks, stolen mail, committing a data breach, computer viruses, unsafe smartphone apps, or hacking email accounts to obtain log-in passwords and financial data. They also use phishing schemes or false pretenses to obtain your personal information via fake websites or scams over email and phone.
The Arizona Department of Revenue takes identity theft seriously, and efforts to combat tax refund fraud continue to be a priority. These efforts lengthen processing times of tax returns and refunds, but are necessary in order to minimize incidence of tax-related identity theft. If you have submitted an Arizona tax return via e-File and chose direct deposit for your tax refund, you may check the status of your refund by visiting the Arizona Department of Revenue’s “Where’s my Refund?” link.
For assistance with your tax return or refund, Customer Care is available to help you. Call 602-255-3381 or toll-free in Arizona 1-800-352-4090.
If you think you are the victim of tax-related identity theft, notify the Arizona Department of Revenue Identity Theft Call Center by calling 602-716-6300 or out of state 1-844-817-9691.