Beware of IRS scams

Consumer Reports: Beware of IRS scams. (WPEC)

Today is the first day that you can officially file your tax returns.

At 85 years old Julianne O'connor speaks for all of us when a letter from the IRS shows up in the mail.

"I just go,” said Julianne O’Connor, who had her identity stolen.

Luckily, she had help from her daughter to cut thru the red tape.

How would you describe this entire process?

“ Very stressful. I would say a 10 out of 10 in terms of bureaucracy,” says Julianne McLaughlin.

"These are the letters we received from the IRS," she said.

The letters said the I-R-S needed to verify the identity of Julianne and her 88-year-old husband... who suffers from late-stage Alzheimer’s and lives in a memory care facility several miles away.

"And I was like, 'Why does their identity need to be verified? They've been filing taxes for 60 to 70 years," she said.

It turns out someone had stolen the elderly couple's social security numbers and filed a tax return in their name.

"I was really upset. Just remember my heart pounding and thinking, who else out there has this information?"

Experts say THE I-R-S IS notoriously slow to inform taxpayers they're at risk. even the government admits during the busy filing season... It can take an average of 9 months, to resolve these issues.

Julianne finally received her refund check in November. the I-R-S says it's working to resolve these cases faster. your best bet is to file as quickly as possible.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off