Santa Barbara Tax Products Group Identifies Scam, Saving Taxpayers $7.5 Million
SAN DIEGO – May 25, 2011 - As Identity theft schemes become increasingly complex and sophisticated; criminals are preparing phony tax returns, generating over $500 million in fraudulent tax refunds this year alone. According to Forbes Magazine, a single tax preparer filed over 5,000 returns for deceased taxpayers resulting in $12.1 million in fraudulent tax refunds. This post-mortem identity theft scam had refunds being distributed to 300 different bank accounts spread across nine different banks.
Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG) is sensitive to the escalating identity theft problem and has implemented rigorous fraud detection controls that proactively detect and prevent fraud. As a result of these internal controls, TPG identified this deceased taxpayer identity theft scam and captured 2,500 federal refunds, saving taxpayers $7.5 million that otherwise would have been released to the fraudulent preparer.
While the IRS has its own computerized screening process, TPG provides an additional perimeter of protection, identifying fraud perpetrated by fraudulent taxpayers and tax preparers. Last year alone, TPG returned nearly $23 million to the IRS in fraudulent refunds. These aggressive efforts at stopping fraud will continue as TPG provides value beyond tax refund-related financial products.