Friday, March 30, 2012

Timeline of events; identity theft fallout

Don't bother reading this--it's a record for myself, but may be helpful for random other people in the world dealing with the same situation.

1. Try to e-file federal return. It is rejected immediately due to Rule #R0000-902, meaning there is already a tax return filed with your identification number for that tax year. You now have to file a paper return.

2. Call IRS to find out what is up. Agent #1 says she will transfer you to Accounts, since she doesn't know if I have to file an amended return or a regular return. Agent #2 says that a return has already been filed, a check has been mailed, though not to my address nor in the amount of my refund that I calculated in the return that I have in my hands. She says to call Agent #3 on their identity fraud team, and #3 says that #2 gave me way too much info and that I now have to file a paper return along with a crapload of other documentation. Then, in 90 days, I will be called and assigned a case worker, and then they will start an investigation. And maybe in 9 months to a year, I will get my refund.

3. Order a credit report and scour it for weirdness. I see a fake address that was listed last year in March.

4. Place a fraud alert through a credit reporting agency.

5. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online.

6. Call the FTC for more info on anything else I need to do.

7. Call the Social Security Administration, who tells me that they can't do anything since they don't have current records for income verification and won't have those until September.

8. Call the local police department, who says they won't file an official report, just take things down in the docket, and even if I call county police, they probably won't, either.

9. Call the state's attorney to see if my state requires police to file a report in identity theft cases. All I get is, "You're not the only one, this happens a lot, too much info in cyberspace, be more persistent w/the police." No actual statement of what the LAW is.

10. Print and copy a bazillion forms at the library.

11. Visit the police station and get an incident number plus a handout on how to deal w/identity theft.

12. Compose cover letter and compile documents for tax return + fraud affadavit.

13. Call banks, credit cards, and meet with varying success.

14. Visit post office to send IRS documents via certified mail.

15. Visit local bank branch to see what can be done (nothing) and have human contact w/the assistant manager, who has been defrauded in the same manner and offers sympathy.

16. Create new digital and hard copy files and file them so I don't have to think about it anymore.

17. Bitch and moan to friends and loved ones.

18. BEER.

19 comments:

  1. agggghhhH!!!!!!!!!!!! (pull hair out.... consider pulling hair out from 'helpful' officials) have you figured out how the identity theft was possible in the first place? ..... oh boy!

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  2. ha!!! i had a BAD day and ended with beer, too! but today, things are better....and maybe for you. too!

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  3. damn! just got to know about a similar e-file response from my tax accointant :-/

    I am so f'd!

    (came across this on a google search for R0000-902)

    btw, did you try this ? http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=251501,00.html?portlet=108

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  4. supposedly, it's easy to do this kind of thing, esp these days w/e-filing. and, yes, i followed all of the IRS directions, though most of them go in circles. my law school friend said not to expect to ever get my refund. i'm still hoping that i will, but probably no earlier than 2013. in the meantime, i just feel icky knowing i've been hacked.

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    1. Thanks aimee, I am surprised there are hardly any online articles/blogs about this error response.

      Luckily I contacted the IRS fraud division directly on 1-800-908-4490 (because you mentioned you were transferred around so many times), and wrapped it up in one phone call, thanks to the person I spoke to, who was concise and clear about what I should do next.

      What I feel so f'd up about is that I have been so damn careful about my personal info, extremely cautious online behavior, she, that I am surprised someone could still lay hands on my ssn :-/

      I am so glad that you wrote up this stuff online. I'll probably write one on my blog too (Once I am done filing all the related docs).

      Now I have to put my taxday payout plans on hold! :(thanks again, to your law school friend for setting the expectations right about getting the refund)

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    2. you're welcome! if my dreadful experience can help even just one more person, i'm happy about that. the other things i saw online about it were not that helpful, so i wanted to add my two cents.

      i did speak to the IRS fraud division (after the first agent gave me the wrong 800 #), but i did get some strange info that i didn't follow up on. one example: they said i had to send in a change-of-address form, since the fraudsters had used a different address. but that didn't make any sense to me, especially since the form asks for a former address, and i don't know what address they provided to get their free IRS check.

      i agree, that it feels awful to have personal info violated like this. a friend made fun of me for being a victim of identity theft, when apparently this friend's SS# is online with a big list of other people's names and SS#, and has yet to be screwed. the world works in funny ways.

      oh, and when i talked to my bank with a very good fraud dept, the person said that likely, all they had is my SS#, and possibly not even my name. that is craziness.

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    3. Finally got the papers in, just in time for the deadline. Luckily, i had no issues with getting a police report about the id theft.

      Now that I am done filing, some more googling adds more fuel to the fire! Check this to see how simple it is to commit this fraud http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-debit-card-id-fraud-20120418,0,6062710.story

      All they need is an SSN! So, what that bank's fraud dept told you, its true.

      But there's one silver lining in this fraud: This is more of an IRS Fraud. Chances of ID theft are low. So these fraudsters (most often) would not open new lines of credit and max it out.

      I am yet to notify my banks and the credit bureaus :-/ (was asked by the IRS lady to notify all banks i do business with, and FTC, SSA and one of the credit bureaus).

      Will update here, if I have anything else to share regarding this.

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  5. 8 months since fraud, I am yet to see any progress made :-/

    called up IRS today and got to know that they are so backed up on this issue that they are not able to or are holding from sending any communications regarding this to the victims.

    And as of now, I have to wait till Nov 26th, by when I'll either get the refund, or will get a letter from IRS explaining whats happening. (I'll take it for granted that i wont get the refund this year)

    any updates on your end?

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    1. funny timing, b/c i ALSO called up IRS (last week), and they said that the investigators have something like 211 days from when my paperwork was filed to actually be in touch with me or open a case. i definitely do NOT expect a refund this year, if the investigation *starts* in mid-Nov! i think those investigations take at least 3 mos. so, all the same.

      IRS also said i can't use my tax return (the one i filled out as opposed to the fraudulent one) as official documentation for anything since it isn't a legit document. i can only do that after the investigation is over.

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  6. Anonymous10:54 AM

    I called the IRS today and was also told that they now have 211 days before the front-line phone person will even escalate your case to be assigned. Today was 210 days for me. Until I found the about post I thought the guy was just giving me a line of bs.

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  7. Final (hopefully!) update: about a week after the 211 days had lapsed, I called IRS again, because I hadn't heard from anyone about the status of the investigation. I talked to someone who asked again for my info and how much I expected for a tax return, put me on hold, and then told me that there was an adjustment made and that I would be receiving a check in 3-4 weeks. Believe it or not, the check came inside of 3 weeks, just in time for the holidays.

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    1. Congratulations!

      I am still waiting for my check. In first week I was told that I should expect to get the check some time in Jan 2013, and now, the IRS.gov app on iPhone says refund has been processed, but I still dont see a refund in my bank account, nor did I receive a check. Time to call them again! :(

      Keeping my fingers crossed!

      So glad to know at least people are getting their refunds back.

      Just curious: Does the IRS pay an interest for this delayed refund?

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    2. HA!! I'm going to assume the IRS would laugh at the idea of interest. I agree that it's deserved, but likely not. Good luck; hopefully the deposit is made very soon!

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    3. just double checked my refund check, IRS did give me a fairly decent interest rate! (3.52% of the refund amount, don't know over what period its calculated =)

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  8. Just heard from my tax consultant. 2012 return also gives same error R0000-902 while e-filing :(

    I just hope IRS is not going to gobble up this year's returns too! Did your 2012 returns go well?

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    1. I haven't done them yet (thanks for the reminder!) but the IRS gave me an extra PIN because my account had been compromised by identity theft. Did you get one, and use it, and *still* get that error report?

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    2. Thats weird. I didn't receive a PIN. Is it given when you call them to report fraud? or do they mail it out?

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. It's mailed to you, and I think mine came *after* the refund finally arrived.

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