TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Federal investigators say identity thieves who've claimed billions of dollars in bogus tax refunds in recent years are finding ways to get around increased surveillance.
Tax fraud thieves this year have been linked with swiping the Social Security numbers and identities of schoolchildren in Miami and teachers in Seattle.
The IRS paid out nearly $4 billion to people using stolen identities in 2012. It has made stopping identity theft fraud a priority.
Tax fraud thieves have evaded detection lately by getting refunds loaded onto prepaid debit cards instead of receiving them by check.
It all adds up to frustration for legitimate taxpayers who have had their personal information stolen. They often face lots of paperwork and months of waiting for their refunds.