Beware of Tax Fraud

How Does Tax Fraud Work?

Identity thieves can file fraudulent tax returns in your name and steal your tax refund. They may attempt identity theft by claiming false problems with your return or tax documents.

These scams utilize various methods for initiating contact, such as email, phone, and social media, and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Identity thieves may claim to be from U-M administrative units or the IRS asking people to update or validate information using fake U-M login pages, fake IRS pages and forms, fraudulent Google forms, and more. They ask for personal information such as birthdate, Social Security number, and more that they can use to impersonate you, or demand imediate payment.

Protect Yourself

Do not provide information or money.

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

See the most recent Safe Computing Phishing Alerts and stay up-to-date on tax scams and consumer alerts issued by the IRS.

Prevent Tax Fraud

Two-factor for Weblogin has been turned on to protect your U-M accounts.

Two-factor for Weblogin adds extra security for Wolverine Access (including your W-2), U-M Google, and other U-M web sites and tools. Two-factor helps protect your account secure even if your password is compromised. U-M employees, students, and sponsored affiliates and many others use two-factor for Weblogin to protect their U-M account.

Participate in the Identity Protection (IP) PIN Program from the IRS

The Identity Protection (IP) PIN Program allows you to get a PIN that helps prevent others from using your Social Security number to file fraudulent tax returns in your name. Each January, the program becomes available on the IRS web site. Filers can use the program to obtain a PIN and protect their taxes. The PIN is good for one year. See Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) starting in January to get an IP PIN.

If you file online, first secure your data, devices, and home network.

Secure your devices to safeguard your online identity and accounts. This means setting strong passwords, backing up your data, choosing appropriate privacy and access settings, only connecting to secure networks, and more.

File your taxes as soon as possible.

This prevents criminals from filing under your name, and will get you your tax refund (if you are eligible for one) faster.

Know your tax filing merchants.

Use only Authorized IRS e-file Providers to file your taxes. If you're filing on the web, make sure that the website URL starts with https to indicate a secure connection.

Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services.

Be suspicious of ads for tax filing services that promise you large or expedited tax refunds. These ads are often scams to steal your personal information.

Beware of common identity theft and tax scams.

Information about many current tax scams can be found at IRS: Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. See Scams to learn how to protect yourself from phishing attacks, phone scams, tax fraud, and tech support scams.

If You Get Caught by a Tax Scam

Report tax identity theft to the federal government.

To report tax identity theft to the federal government and get a recovery plan, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website. It allows you to file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 14039 online when you report identity theft. 

Or download a copy of IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039 (PDF) for filing. For additional information from the IRS, see Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance.

Alert the appropriate state tax organization.

In Michigan, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.

  • Call: 517-636-4486
  • Identity Theft Unit
    Income Tax Division
    P.O. Box 30477
    Lansing, MI 48909