NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's tax season, and while you work to make sure you file your taxes on time, criminals are working overtime to try and steal your personal information and collect a refund in your name.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports it is something that happens every year. One Nashville man was among the victims this year.
"I got an email from TurboTax that someone had tried to use some of my information when filing their taxes," said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous. "I had 48 hours to respond to TurboTax, and did it as quickly as I could."
In addition to alerting the IRS, he also is reporting it to the Federal Trade Commission, and local and state authorities. The result will be a lengthy delay in the process of filing his taxes.
"That delays my taxes by about 180 days," he said. "I have to submit my taxes via the mail and not digitally."
A spokesperson for the IRS said, if your personal information is compromised you need to go to the IRS website as soon as possible. The website will walk you through the steps of what to do next. While there will be delays, he said it is a necessary process.
"It is a lengthy process," said Luis Garcia, Spokesperson for the IRS. "That’s what we need to do to protect you, and make sure you aren’t re-victimized."
The best ways to avoid becoming a victim is to protect your personal identifying information, file your return early, use a reputable tax preparer, and beware of scams.
"The IRS will never threaten you," said Garcia, "The IRS will never ask you for immediate payment, and the IRS will never demand that you pay by particular payment method."
While the Nashville victim said he didn't know how someone got access to his personal information, he did plan to invest in personal identity theft monitoring in the future for additional protection.
For more information on taxpayer identity theft visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft#:~:text=Tax%2Drelated%20identity%20theft%20occurs,must%20file%20a%20paper%20return.