Data Breach Victims Report Fraudulent Tax Returns Filed
Recently, Premera Blue Cross announced that a “sophisticated cyberattack” exposed the personal information of approximately 11 million individuals to hackers and identity thieves. The data breach potentially affected anyone who had or applied for health insurance through Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon LifeWise Assurance Company, or LifeWise Health Plan of Arizona at any time from 2002 to January 29, 2015.
We are already receiving reports from data breach victims that the IRS has notified them that their tax returns have been processed and their tax refunds—as large as $10,000—are on their way. The only problem is that these data breach victims haven’t filed their tax returns yet and weren’t expecting a refund, especially one so large.
If you were a victim of the data breach in this case and you receive notice from the IRS that your tax return has already been filed or that you are receiving a return you were not expecting, you may be the victim of identity theft. First, however, make sure to verify that the notice from the IRS is, in fact, actually from the IRS. Identity thieves sometimes contact potential victims over the telephone or via email, requesting personal information such as your SSN, date of birth, etc. You can read about the warning signs of an identity thief impersonating someone from the IRS and the steps you should take to verify their identity here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
Once you verify that the correspondence really is from the IRS and that someone has filed a fraudulent tax return in your name, the FTC and the IRS have websites dedicated to the steps you need to take in responding. You can find the FTC’s website here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0008-tax-related-identity-theft. You can find the IRS’s website here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft
Finally, if you have been the victim of the Premera data breach and fraudulent tax returns, you may be entitled to compensation through the class action lawsuit we have filed against Premera. If you want more information about joining our lawsuit, contact us through our website at premeralawsuit.com today