SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There was a data breach at the IRS that may put the security of 100-thousand taxpayers at risk. If you fill out your FAFSA for federal student loans through the IRS when you file your taxes, you may be at risk.
There was a data breach. Criminals pretending to be students or parents somehow got into their data entry system. The IRS shut down their online tool last month, made security updates, and is now mailing letters about the breach to those who may be affected.
The IRS says they caught the breach early. Fewer than 8,000 fraudulent returns were processed.
Paul Mancinone, CPA, Tax Attorney of Springfield told 22News, “Law enforcement is one step behind crooks. They’ve always been one step behind. As soon as they close one hole, another one opens. Data, IT, its the new frontier as we saw in the last election and we are just playing catch up and I think that is going to continue to be the case.”
Mancinone told 22News this year the IRS is taking an extra security measure by asking for the driver’s license number of tax filers to verify identity.
If you do get one of these letters, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to your credit and bank account statements.
The IRS is also offering free credit monitoring to anyone who gets the letter to protect them from identity theft.