Man victim of identity theft

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Bratt, Fla., man believes that he may be the victim of an identity theft crime.

Richard Benner said that he recently received a letter in the mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), informing him that the IRS had received a tax return in his name.

However, Benner said he has been retired for eight years, and has not filed a return since his retirement.

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“Someone else has obviously filled out a tax return in my name,” Benner said.

He said the letter asked for Benner to notify the IRS. Once the agency hears from Benner, it will stop the processing of the tax return.

He said that the letter did not state that he owes the IRS any money, so he figures that an identity thief filled out the return in hopes of collecting a tax refund.

Benner wants other citizens to know that they shouldn’t be overly concerned if they get a similar letter in the mail.

“I just wanted to let people know that this sort of thing can happen,” he said. “It might scare them a little bit, but I don’t think you have to be scared. You’ve just got to call the IRS and let them know that it’s not your return that they received.”

The IRS also recommends for citizens to notify their banks and credit agencies, if they believe they have been victims of an identity theft crime. This is because identity thieves will often use the same information in other ways, before they get caught.

According to the IRS, the agency has been able to successfully stop 14.6 million false returns and $50 billion in fraudulent refunds, in its history.