MELROSE — Police and Internal Revenue Service representatives continue to urge people to do what they can to secure their personal information after a rash of identity theft reports in the area this tax filing season.
The Melrose Police field about three or four calls a week from residents who receive notice from the IRS after filing a return that someone has already done so using their Social Security number.
On Wednesday, April 15, around 8 p.m. a Beech Avenue resident reported that on April 10 he got a letter from the IRS telling him a return had already been filed with information matching the resident’s. The Melrose man was then instructed to file an IRS identification theft affadavit form, part of the process of possibly rectifying the situation.
According to information on line, when the IRS receives two different returns with the same Social Security number, the second return filed will be rejected if you e-filed or if you paper-filed. You will get a written notice that explains that a return has already been filed if you paper filed your return. Even if you don’t get a letter from the IRS but suspect a fraudulent return has been filed with your information, you can still take action.
IRS Form 14039
When you discover another tax return has been filed with your Social Security number, you’ll use IRS Form 14039 to alert the IRS. When you complete this form, you’ll indicate that someone has stolen your identity and it has affected your tax account since they have filed a return using your identifying information. You’ll also provide information about the tax year affected and the last return you filed prior to the identity theft.
Sending Form 14039
After you complete Form 14039, mail it to the IRS with a copy of your Social Security card and driver’s license. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you can substitute a U.S. Passport, military ID or other government-issued identification card.
If you received an IRS notice concerning the fraudulent return, include a copy of the notice. Mail the form and documents to the address shown in your notice.
If you did not receive an IRS notice, mail your documents to: Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 9039, Andover, MA 01810-0939
Request for Identity Verification from the IRS
When the IRS stops a suspicious tax return filing, they may send a letter called “Letter 5071C” asking that you verify your identity. It will include a couple ways to verify it: via a phone number or through the IRS’s Identity Verfication Service, https://idverify.irs.gov.
This online service is the quickest method and will ask you multiple-choice questions to verify whether or not the tax return flagged for further identity verification was filed by you or someone else. The IRS only sends such notices by mail. The IRS will not request that you verify your identity by contacting you by phone or through email. If you receive such calls or emails, they are likely a scam.
If you can’t confirm your identity using the IRS’ online Identity Verification Service, you can call the IRS at the phone number included in the letter.
When confirming your identity, you will need:
Your name, date of birth and contact information
Social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
Your prior year tax return along with supporting documents such as W-2s, 1099s, and Schedules A and C if you filed them
When someone has enough of your personal information to file a fraudulent tax return, she can use your identity to commit other crimes. In addition to alerting the IRS, you should place a freeze on your credit report file with all three credit bureaus to prevent unauthorized accounts from being opened. The Federal Trade Commission also suggests filing an identity theft report with your local police department, and also with the FTC online.
In addition to handling an identity theft report, Melrose Police dealt with a wide variety of calls between Monday, April 13, and Monday, April 20.
MONDAY, APRIL 13
• Police helped a Penney Road man who had been locked out of his house allegedly by his father at 8:38 a.m.
• An ongoing dispute between neighbors brought police to a section of East Foster Street around 9:20 a.m.
• An Oakland Street resident told police someone had fraudulently filed a tax return in his name at 9:47 a.m.
• Landscapers were reportedly “making a mess” on Fairmount Street around 3:25 p.m.
• A 30-year-old Wakefield man will be summonsed to court for trespassing and larceny after allegedly being captured by a surveillance camera inside Anytime Fitness on Main Street stealing protein powder and fat-burning pills. The suspect is reportedly a past member of the club. The report was logged at 4:54 p.m.
• A flower basket was reportedly knocked over near the front door of a home on Burrell Street around 9:55 p.m.
TUESDAY, APRIL 14
• Police went to Bob’s Market on West Wyoming Avenue around 8:10 a.m. after being told a woman was acting strange in the area. She was taken to the hospital.
• A case of identity fraud was reported at 9:46 a.m.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
• A Burrell Street resident told police around 1:20 a.m. that he filed his taxes and was told they had already been filed.
• A truck was broken into on Berwick Street sometime before the 6 a.m. report to police.
• A 52-year-old Marvin Road woman will be summonse to court for assaulting a police officer after he tried to help her home. According to police, they were called around 10:20 p.m. by another Marvin Road resident who reported a woman he did not know as banging on his front door. When police arrived, they found the woman, who was not clothed, trying to get into the home. After some time, she resisted help, striking an officer in the head. The woman was at the wrong address.
She was eventually subdued and taken to the hospital.
The Weekly News does not publish the names of people police say they plan to summonse to court.