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Tax season may show identity theft

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX-- You may not believe that it can happen to you, but someone may be using your social security number right now and you don't even know it.

Ironically, many people find out about it when they sit down to do their taxes.

Since it's a leap year, and April 15th falls on a Sunday. You'll get two extra days to prepare, returns don't have to be mailed until April 16th.

But CPA's and other tax preparers are already seeing big numbers.

"I found over the years that most people get their taxes done at about the same time every year. But right now, this early in the tax season, it's just a few W2's and none of the complicated stuff. Those people tend to come a little later in the year," Joe Madden, CPA, said.

By now, everyone who worked last year should have already received their W-2's. But some people may be getting W-2's for jobs they never worked.

Sherman Police Sgt. Bruce Dawsey said scammers often use stolen social security numbers to obtain jobs. Some people never even know their number is being used.

"Where the problem comes in, initially is when you file your taxes. You might be audited because someone else is using your social security number and you didn't report all of your incomes," Dawsey said. "So your social security is linked to your tax return and it's showing you have unclaimed income. So there is a case that you may be audited."

Madden has been a CPA since 1997 and hasn't seen false claims, but he says he knows identity theft is a growing problem.

"As we become a more and more online society, we are throwing our numbers around more and more and you can never know for sure where that item is going," Madden explained.

Madden and police recommend if you find out someone is using your social security number, contact your local police department and the IRS immediately.


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