Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

National news

April 11, 2014

Tax refund fraud is a big frustration for victims

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Laura Hankins knew something was wrong when she filed her daughter's tax return and it was rejected hours later: An identity thief already had sent in a return using the 19-year-old's personal information.

"This is the first time in her life she has ever filed income taxes, after earning all of $1,800 stocking products on grocery store shelves," Hankins said. "I did her taxes for her online, but immediately she got the rejection."

Thieves have claimed billions of dollars in bogus tax refunds from the IRS by swiping the Social Security numbers and identities of schoolchildren in Florida, prisoners in Pennsylvania, teachers in Washington state and soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hackers and employees with access to thousands of names stored in company databases have tapped into reams of personal information, allowing them to submit hundreds of fraudulent returns by computer and receive refunds within days. Five people in Cincinnati were sentenced to prison late last year for using the names of employees at nursing homes and hospitals to file tax returns.

It all adds up to a lot of frustration for legitimate taxpayers who face more paperwork and months of waiting for their tax refunds.

Hankins was told her daughter Claire, a college student from West Milwaukee, Wis., would get her refund in about six months. But Hankins first had to spend about 20 hours filling out forms, gathering information and photocopying documents because she couldn't file electronically after the tax identity theft was discovered in February.

"Some kids get to go to Florida for spring break, but she got to go to the West Milwaukee police station to file a theft report," said Hankins, who added that her daughter is worried about what will happen next now that her personal information is out there.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National news
  • CIA Investigations [Duplicate] State Dept: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror susp

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full appeals court upholds labels on meat packages WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The meat industry has attempted to block the rul

    July 29, 2014

  • Hepatitis Drug [Duplicate] $1,000-per-pill Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice WASHINGTON (AP) — The price may be high but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million. Even with insurers reluctant to pay, Sov

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Debt Study [Duplicate] Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bill

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice CHICAGO (AP) — A costly drug given mostly to premature babies is at the center of a clash between the manufacturer and the nation's leading pediatrician's group, which recommends scaling back use of the medicine. The dispute involves new guidelines f

    July 28, 2014

  • Family Slain Maine [Duplicate] Police investigate deaths of family of 5 in Maine SACO, Maine (AP) — The state medical examiner plans to conduct autopsies on the bodies of five family members found shot to death in an apartment in southern Maine. Three children ages 4, 7 and 12 were among the victims discovered Sunday afternoon wh

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama Exporting Pollution [Duplicate] Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Coal from Appalachia rumbles into this port city, 150 railroad cars at a time, bound for the belly of the massive cargo ship Prime Lily. The ship soon sets sail for South America, its 80,000 tons of coal destined for power pl

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zimmerman says he'll appeal NBC lawsuit dismissal ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman has filed a notice to appeal the dismissal of his defamation lawsuit against NBC Universal and three reporters. The appeal notice was filed Tuesday with the Seminole County Clerk of Courts. Judge Debra Nelson on

    July 25, 2014

  • House votes to limit tax credit for immigrants WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Friday that would gradually increase the popular child tax credit and make it available to more families with higher incomes. However, millions of low-income families would lose the $1,000-a-child credit in 2

    July 25, 2014

  • Ruling on antibiotics in livestock reversed NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn't required to hold public hearings to evaluate the health risks of widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Co

    July 25, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller