Investigators looking into local tax return filing scheme
The Department of Justice suspects three locals of stealing money with a false income tax return filing scheme. To protect their investigation we aren't releasing names but in a warrant investigators say they had at least 93 false returns filed and the Department of Revenue paid out more than 22-thousand-dollars. It happened all while using what police called fake W-2's.
So how do thieves do it? Investigators say they use W-2's and a business address, but in this case the three suspects listed an address on the 10-thousand-block of West National. But no business existed.
"About 5 percent of our clients were scammed."
David Tepper, Co-Owner of DWT Tax says he's seeing the issue first hand. He says his clients filed their taxes only to find out, someone already filed under their social security numbers.
Tepper explains where to social security numbers may be coming from, "We are hearing about different websites being hacked, credit card companies, and department stores."
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue wouldn't comment about the case, but says Wisconsin is taking aggressive action to stop tax return frauds. Saying quote "We utilize our identity protection program to weed out potential fake income tax returns. We know our citizens appreciate our efforts, and they don't want their hard-earned money going to a hacker because someone has stolen their identity."
Still, Tepper says the IRS is inundated with cases nationwide, that could affect you when you get your tax return.
Tepper says, "This past year we were told it could take 6 to 8 months or longer because they're working on the fraudulent returns."
The IRS recommends using a pin if you've been a victim of fraud.