SCAM ALERT: Podiatric Physicians Targeted in Tax Refund Fraud

SCAM ALERT: Podiatric Physicians Targeted in Tax Refund Fraud

CPMA has been contacted by several members regarding fraudulent tax filing in their names.

Upon filing a legitimate tax return, the doctors were informed by the IRS that a return has been already filed, most likely by an identity thief.  Affected doctors may also learn of the scam by receiving a 5071C letter from the IRS alerting them of possible fraud.

CPMA posted several notices on tax fraud scams targeting doctors in 2014

At that time the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were investigating how the identity thieves obtained the practitioners' personal information needed to file the fraudulent returns.  Then, some speculated that the fraud may have been related to Medicare's online Open Payments report that listed practitioners' NPI numbers.

The recent Anthem breach that exposed the personal data of 80M individuals, including names, social security numbers, birthdays, addresses, email address and phone numbers of 80M individuals makes this tax filing season ripe for massive fraud.  And, members are urged to be extra vigilant.

If you learn that your identity has been compromised in any way, act quickly and consider the following steps.

  • Alert the IRS Identity Theft Protection Unit at 800.908.4490, complete Form 14039 and submit it to the IRS with any supporting documentation. More information is available at IRS.gov
  • Contact the Office of the California Attorney General to register the identity theft at www.oag.ca.gov/idtheft
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 and create an Identity Theft Report at www.consumer.ftc.gov/
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report with the three consumer reporting agencies (Equifax: 800.525.6285, Experian: 888.397.3742 and TransUnion: 800.680.7289).
  • File a report with local law enforcement in the jurisdiction where you reside. Bring with you all documentation available, including the state and federal complaints you filed.
  • Call the Social Security Administration's fraud hotline at (800) 269-0271 to report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number. In case your number is being used for fraudulent employment, you can also request your Personal Earning and Benefits Estimate Statement from the Social Security Administration ssa.gov or call (800) 772-1213. Make sure to check the report for accuracy.
  • Consult the Department of Justice (DOJ) website at www.justice.gov for additional information

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