IRS faces surge in identity theft tax fraud

The Internal Revenue Service is grappling with a surge in identity theft-based tax fraud as scamsters take advantage of web-based resources including electronic filing.

Identity theft cases, in which criminals obtain living or deceased people’s names and Social Security numbers to defraud the government, ranked No. 1 on an annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams the agency released Thursday. The IRS called ID theft one of the most complex threats it handles.

The IRS estimates 404,000 people were victimized by identity theft tax fraud from mid-2009 to the end of 2011.

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