Police Warn Against False Identities Sold Online During Tax Season

6 years 3 weeks 4 days ago Tuesday, February 28 2017 Feb 28, 2017 February 28, 2017 6:49 PM February 28, 2017 in News

RIO GRANDE CITY - Police want others to be aware of stolen identities after a Starr County resident was caught allegedly trying to sell them on social media.

Rio Grande City police said the person was arrested and the documents are no longer online. However, they said it doesn’t stop thieves from taking advantage of others during tax season.

Tracy Rodriguez is an income tax preparer in Rio Grande City. She said she has seen some of her many clients fall prey to identity theft in her four years in the business.

“At the time that they come and do their income tax, we send it off, we file it and everything… It comes back ‘rejected’,” she said. “We know that it can be a possible identity theft if it says that their social security number was already used.”

Rodriguez said victims may have complications when filing their taxes.  

“From thereon, they are going to have to file for an identity protection PIN. That identity protection PIN is going to follow them throughout the years while they file their returns,” she said.

Rio Grande City Police Assistant Chief Jose Solis said his officers frequently deal with identity theft cases.

“This is the time of year where identity thefts do affect people because of tax season. They try filing their taxes and they find out that they already filed their taxes in another state,” he said.

Solis said authorities are cracking down heavily on these types of cases. He added trying to buy false documents such as a birth certificate, a driver’s license or a Social Security card online is a crime.

“Even if you’re in possession of those documents you could be facing charges,” he said. “If you do come across social media and you do need – you’re here illegally and you need papers for some reason or another, I would suggest you do it the legal way.”

Solis added the sale of fraudulent identity documents on social media is a new trend. He said thieves can use your private information to make large purchases, such as a car or even a home.

In some extreme cases, the Department of Justice recommends people consult an attorney if creditors refuse to remove fraudulent entries from your credit report.

If you suspect someone is selling fake ID’s online, report the crime immediately. Solis recommends calling your local authorities and be prepared to send them the link or a screenshot of the attempted sale.

You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

More News

7 Days