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IRS Data Theft Larger than First Reported

“Check your mailbox.”  Normally these words are used in anticipation. As children, it may be looking for a free prize. As adults, it may be the expectation of a tax refund. Now check your mailbox is in anticipation of the IRS letting you know your tax records may have been stolen.

The IRS reports that an additional 220,000 taxpayer accounts have been accessed through a breach in their “Get Transcript” application. The IRS also identified another 170,000 failed attempts to gain access to records. Because of this, the IRS is sending out announcements to affected taxpayers in addition to the 100,000+ taxpayers already identified in May.

What Happened
Thieves used stolen Social Security Numbers, names, addresses, and added information to get past the IRS Get Transcript authentication protocols. The thieves could then get copies of IRS transcripts. The IRS believes thieves will try to use this information to file fraudulent tax returns in 2016.

Next Steps
The IRS will be contacting the additional taxpayers shortly via mail. If you are impacted, you can sign up for free credit monitoring and the IRS will flag your account for potential theft risk.