Some taxpayers will receive a letter from the IRS in 2023 about possible theft of their identity. If you receive one of these letters, it means the IRS suspects that a scammer has used your personal information to attempt to claim a tax refund. There is no need to panic, but do not throw the letter away. Instead, follow the steps explained in the letter to keep yourself safe.
Scammers use stolen Social Security numbers (SSNs) to file fraudulent tax returns in someone else’s name, and collect tax refunds. To keep taxpayers safe, the IRS scans every return for signs of fraud. If IRS personnel believe that a return filed in your name may be a case of identity theft, you will get a letter asking you to verify your identity online, by phone or in person.
If you filed a tax return for the year shown in the letter, carefully follow the instructions to confirm your identity, so the IRS can process only your legitimate return. If you did not file a return, then any return submitted in your name is clearly fraudulent. In this case, the letter will provide either a Taxpayer Protection Program hotline number, or instructions to use an IRS online tool. Call the phone number or log on to the tool immediately and notify the IRS that you did not file, so authorities can work to track down the scammer and protect your identity.