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One of the fastest growing crimes in America is identity theft, and recently one victim of identity theft was a Social Security recipient. Jennifer Marban lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, she is completely disabled and receives $1,080 a month in Social Security benefits.
Last year during tax season, someone filed a fake tax return using her identity. Because she doesn’t pay federal taxes, Marban did not file a tax return, which is why she was such an easy target for identity theft.
When the fake tax return was filed, it indicated that Marban had been working and earning income that was above the limits set by the SSA. This income disqualified her from the benefits she was receiving.
The SSA caught wind of her tax return and stopped her benefits. Marban is now appealing the decision.
Because many Social Security benefit recipients don’t file tax returns, they never know if someone filed a fake return with their identity. If someone files a fake tax return with your name, you can be put in a very difficult situation.
Not only will you have to work with credit bureaus to clear your name and credit, but your benefits might also be cut. As you can imagine, this is not a situation you want to be in.
To protect your identity you should keep an eye on your credit score and file a tax return as soon as possible. There are several online sites that will let you check your identity a few times a year for free.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law