When Contego Services Group employee, Tammy Reib, a single mother of three waited over seven hours on a Monday to turn in her ID theft affidavit with an IRS worker in Plantation, her boss Linda Webb, leading fraud expert, AKA The Fraud Dog knew she had to do something! On February 3rd, The Fraud Dog called in The Sun Sentinel to help shed light to the devastating situation so many South Floridians have encountered since tax season began . For most it has been a double whammy: stolen identify with no refund in sight for months and uncooperative local IRS offices turning away victims.
The Plantation office is the only IRS office in Broward County. Mike Dobzinski, the IRS spokesman in Plantation apologized for the long waits, but said his office has six vacancies, and the IRS can’t hire replacements because of a federal hiring freeze. The Sun Sentinel began reporting significantly shorter lines and more efficient processes as early as Wednesday, February 8th at the Plantation, IRS office. This local office began separating those who could not file their 2011 taxes from all other visitors. About 75 percent of visitors were put into the identify theft line. An IRS worker told the Sun Sentinel that identify theft victims are now the priority.
The IRS has been grappling with a nearly five-fold increase in taxpayer identity theft between 2008 and 2010, a Government Accountability Office official told a House hearing last summer. Incidents have spiraled from about 52,000 in 2008 to nearly 250,000 in 2010. But federal officials — from prosecutors to IRS officials — have promised tough action. “The IRS is aggressively pursuing those who steal others’ identities in order to file false returns,” said Steven Miller, the agency’s IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, in a written statement.
Tammy Reib is thankful for the help The Fraud Dog and the Sun Sentinel had in shinning the light on this grim situation and the results their spot light has had. Unfortunately, she was told it may be another four to six months before she gets her tax refund. Her boss, Linda Webb, said she worries that the IRS may become overwhelmed with fraud cases. “This is just the start of tax season,” she said.
If you are in need of fraud investigation services, contact Contego Services Group today. Under the leadership of Linda Webb, The Fraud Dog, Contego has the knowledge and expertise to help you resolve your fraud case. Whether it’s mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, workers compensation fraud or any other type of fraudulent activity, Contego and The Fraud Dog will work together to help you and your company. For more information, call 1-855-WE-SWARM today.