fraud Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Tax Identity Theft: What it Is and How to Protect Yourself

By | Credit Repair, Fraud Protection

The sheer thought of identity theft is frightening. Tax identity theft, in particular, is increasingly popular and becoming a growing problem. According to an IRS watchdog, in 2013, more Americans’ identities were stolen in tax refund crimes in the first six months of the year than in all of 2012. It is estimated that 1.2 million taxpayers were victims of tax identity theft last year.

Tax identity theft defined

Tax identity theft occurs when someone else uses your social security number to obtain a tax refund or to get a job.

Uncovering tax identity theft

You are more than likely a victim of tax identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS stating you earned wages from an employer you don’t recognize or if more than one tax return was filed using your SSN.

The effects

If someone falsely uses your SSN to report wages before you do, they may receive your refund first. When you file your return at a later date, you will receive notification from the IRS that more than one return was filed for you. If someone falsely uses your SSN to get a job, then that employer will likely report that person’s earnings to the IRS using your SSN. After you file, you will then receive a notice from the IRS stating that you did not report all of your earnings. The IRS doesn’t know that you don’t recognize this false employer.

Repairing the damage

If you receive a notice from the IRS stating that more than one return was filed under your SSN, or that you did not report all of your wages, it is critical you contact the IRS immediately because you may be a victim of tax identity theft.

The IRS employs specialists who will work with you to file your appropriate return, get  you a correct refund, and protect your account in the future. You should also file a police report to report the fraud. Finally, you need to send a copy of your police report to the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit along with proof of your identity. It’s also important to keep track of the dates you made calls to the IRS and sent letters. You should always keep copies in your files for your reference.

Protect yourself and stay educated

Once you have contacted the IRS, it’s important that you take additional steps to minimize any potential damage. You should order credit reports and set up fraud alerts with all major credit reporting agencies. You should also file an identity theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It’s important to stay educated on how to protect yourself and to tell your friends and family. Tax Identity can happen to anyone. To help raise awareness, the FTC instituted a national Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 13 – 17, to raise awareness about this crime and to educate consumers.

Tax identity theft can cause multiple problems for you aside from your taxes. If your credit is ever damaged as a result of tax identity theft, you should consider credit repair solutions.  Let us at Ovation help you. We offer a wide range of credit repair solutions that are customized to meet your unique needs.

Contact us today to see how we can help.


Credit Repair: How Can You Tell The Good From the Bad?

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Repair, Fraud Protection

It’s a jungle out there! The following list identifies a few things you should consider when selecting a credit repair company:

1: Does the company identify their owners/attorneys, or addresses?
Unfortunately, the internet allows many scammers to appear as legitimate companies through legitimate looking websites. Before you give your hard earned money and personal information to anyone, make sure you can verify the company’s information and credentials. You can verify Ovation’s information from a number of independent sources including the Florida Bar, the Florida Department of State, and the Better Business Bureau.

2: Does the company have significant Better Business Bureau Complaints (or are not even affiliated with the Better Business Bureau)?
While any company can accrue a few random BBB complaints, significant number of complaints may be an indication that the company does not operate fairly towards its customers. Check BBB reports frequently and avoid companies that manage to accrue hundreds of complaints. To check for complaints, visit www.bbb.org and click on “Go to Local BBBs”. Question any company that chooses not to be affiliated with the Better Business Bureau; they may be trying to hide the truth about their organization. Our history with the Better Business Bureau dates back to 1976.

3: Does the company request fees in advance?
The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) requires that credit repair company charge for services only after they are  rendered. Requirements for large upfront payments are tell-tale warning signs of unethical companies. We only charge for work that has been completed in full. Learn more about the CROA in our Learning Center.

4: Does the company disclose your rights?
Consumers have the right to conduct their own credit report repair. You don’t have to hire someone to do if for you. For those that do, Ovation offers its services to individuals seeking legal professionals to manage their credit report repair. Ovation discloses your rights to you on every page of our website as well as in your signup package. We want you to be informed and you should steer clear of any company that doesn’t want you to know your rights.

5: Does the company advocate illegal tactics such as creating “new” identities?
Creating a new identity by applying for a Employer Identification Number to merge or replace a social security number is a serious crime and can lead to significant personal liability. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

6: Does the company advocate fraudulent reporting of credit lines?
Purchasing a listing on someone else’s credit lines for the purpose of reporting a positive account is unethical at best. Trying to con the credit bureaus and your future and current creditors is a significant issue that can lead to personal liability. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

7: Does the company simply dispute all your negative items without requiring any input for the client?
Regardless of how they market themselves, this is a key indicator that the company is a “rookie”. Not only are these types of companies violating federal law by disputing on your behalf in bad faith (which could lead to personal liability), these companies are making it more difficult for you to achieve sustainable results. To learn more about this type of illegal credit tactic, visit our Learning Center.

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