UIPD Issue Crime Alert

The University of Iowa has been notified recently by employees who have been the target of state and federal tax fraud.   We take this issue extremely seriously and are working with these employees to contact the proper authorities and provide assistance.

There is no evidence this fraud is the result of a UI data breach. 

UI teams in Human Resources and Information Technology are working to determine what the targeted employees may have in common to identify where the information may have originated.  For example, last year we were able to determine that several employees who were victims of this crime attended the same conference. If you believe you have experienced a fraudulent tax return filed in your name, we strongly encourage you to email the Director of UI Payroll Operations Dan Schropp at daniel-schropp@uiowa.edu.   Your reporting will help identify the magnitude of the problem.

So far about 89 employees have reported federal tax fraud, which is just more than .2 percent of the 35,609 W-2s issued by the University of Iowa for last year.  Nearly 120 have reported state tax fraud. 

The issue is not isolated to Iowa. The number of fraudulent tax returns is on the rise nationally as criminals use stolen names and Social Security Numbers to forge W-2 information on electronic filed tax returns.  It is often difficult to trace the source of the stolen information which may have occurred during recent well-publicized security incidents.  Most people do not realize there is a problem until they file their tax return and discover that a criminal beat them to it.

Reports are inconsistent, but the federal tax return fraud rate is most commonly reported in the range of 1 to 2 percent. States report increases of 50 to 3,700 percent in fraudulent tax returns this year. Although the current numbers of impacted UI employees are lower than state and national averages, we expect that more reports will surface before the tax season is over.

Those who believe they may be the targets of tax fraud should immediately take the following steps, as recommended by the Federal Trade Commission: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0008-tax-related-identity-theft

 

Step 1: File a report with your local police
Step 2: Report the fraud to the Internal Revenue Service, Identity Protection Specialized Unit: 1-800-908-4490
Step 3: Create an Identity Theft Report by filing an identity theft claim with the FTC and filing a police report: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0277-create-identity-theft-report
Step 4: Send a copy of your police report or an IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form, along with proof of your identity, to the IRS: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf
Step 5: Update your files
Step 6: Record the dates you made calls or sent letters
Step 7: Keep copies of letters in your files
Step 8: Put a fraud alert on your credit reports: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
Step 9: Order and monitor your credit report

 

The FTC also provides a comprehensive identity theft action document (PDF) with step-by-step instructions on recovering from this crime: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0009-taking-charge.pdf