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Employment-Related Identity Theft

If you have experienced one of the following, this may be an indication your Social Security number or other personal information may have been used by another person without your permission for employment purposes.    

  1. You received a letter 4491C from the Internal Revenue Service stating that you were the victim of employment related identity theft or
  2. You received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service stating that you received wages that you did not earn or
  3. You receive a Form W-2 or 1099 from an employer for whom you did not work or
  4. You receive your annual “Notice of Earnings” statement from the Social Security Administration and the income showing on the statement is more than you have earned or
  5. Your Social Security benefits have been adjusted/denied because of wages that you did not earn

What you should do:

  • Contact the IRS at the number or fax listed on the letter or notice if you received an IRS letter or notice.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration if you received a Form W-2 from an unknown employer, your “Annual Notice of Earnings” from the Social Security Administration shows more wages than you earned or you had your Social Security benefits adjusted/denied. They will review your earnings with you to ensure their records are correct.
  • Review earnings posted to your record on your Social Security Statement. Workers, age 18 and older, may create an account to get their Statement

Additional steps you should take if you suspect that you are the victim of employment related identity theft

  • File a report with your local police department. 
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting any one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies: 

                        Equifax: 800-525-6285  www.equifax.com

                        Experian: 888-397-3742  www.experian.com

                        Trans Union: 800-916-8800  www.transunion.com

                            Federal Trade Commission
                            600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
                            Washington, DC  20580  

  • Contact any banks or other financial institutions to close any accounts that are unused, have been tampered with or opened without your permission. 
  • If you have information about the identity thief that impacted your personal information negatively, file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 gives victims of cyber-crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 sends every complaint to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter.

If you are unable to file your tax return because another person has already filed a return under your SSN

  • You are encouraged to contact the IRS at the Identity Theft Specialized Unit (IPSU), toll free at 1-800-908-4490 so we can take steps to further secure your compromised tax account.  Assistors in this unit are specially trained in Identity Theft issues. 
  • Complete Form 14039  or Form 14039SP (Española) to report the identity theft incident, and have an identity theft indicator placed on your account to allow IRS to take protective actions.  

The IPSU hours of Operation:  Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time)

For Additional Information

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Jan-2014