CDA is aware of a tax return identity theft scheme that is targeting dentists and physicians. Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but it now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.
Reports indicate that upon filing a legitimate tax return, the practitioner is informed by the IRS that a return has already been filed, most likely by an identity thief. The United States Secret Service and the IRS are investigating how the identity thieves obtained the practitioner data needed to file fraudulent returns. While some speculate that the fraud may be related to a recent Medicare report that listed practitioners’ NPI numbers, it is still unclear how the fraudsters obtained the sensitive information.
For dentists who have fallen victim to tax return identity theft, below are a few steps to take in response:
- 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 here.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 and create an Identity Theft Report. More information is available here.
- 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.
For additional guidance, contact CDA Practice Support at 800.232.7645 or the TDIC Risk Management Advice Line at 800.733.0634. TDIC provides identity theft coverage for individual policyholders included in their professional liability coverage.