Home Data Breach Taxpayer Data Stolen from IRS Used to File Up to $39 Million in Fraudulent Returns
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Taxpayer Data Stolen from IRS Used to File Up to $39 Million in Fraudulent Returns

Published on June 25, 2015, by in Data Breach.

Between February and May fraudsters used compromised consumer information to obtain more detailed tax payer data via the IRS’s “get transcripts” web service for consumers. The IRS estimates there were 200,000 unauthorized attempts or lookups to gain access to copies of previous year tax returns, more than half of which were successful, leading to as much as $39 million in fraudulently claimed tax refunds.

The IRS has taken measures to make tax information more accessible to legitimate taxpayers, but fraudsters will try to take advantage of these features and services as well. IRS Inspector General J. Russell George led an audit of the IRS’ interactive computer applications in March which identified many areas in which the IRS “could better protect taxpayer data.” The audit included 44 recommendations which have not yet been implemented.

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