I.D. Theft Ordeal: She had IRS Refund Stolen Twice


Debra Tyler had her identity stolen, leading to the theft of her tax refund check – twice.

It happened the second time even after she thought she had straightened everything out with the Internal Revenue Service.

She relayed her story on a  consumer help segment for South Florida’s Channel 7 news.

“They changed my addresses, they canceled all my cards, they re-ordered new ones,” Tyler said of the initial I.D. theft.

She then filed police reports and changed her bank accounts.

But then the I.D. crook filed her tax return in 2011 and stole her refund check.

Tyler again did what she was supposed to do. She contacted the IRS and did what they recommended: filled out the paperwork and filed another police report.

Six months later, in November of 2011, the IRS sent out a replacement refund check. But Tyler didn’t get that one either.

Tyler said an IRS representative told her the check was mailed to the wrong address. I.D. theft strikes again.

Tyler’s ordeal is still ongoing. The IRS would not divulge the address of where the second check was sent. And they will issue a third check for the refund amount, about $1,000, as soon as they complete their investigation.

‘The IRS has to do their investigation, and legally, the IRS can take all the time they feel is needed,” said Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert.

Tyler’s full story was detailed on the South Florida station’s Help Me Howard segment.

Refund schemes involving identity theft topped the Internal Revenue Service’s annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams as the filing deadline approaches. The IRS said it has stepped up its internal reviews to spot false tax returns before tax refunds are issued.


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