Indiana has selected LexisNexis as the contractor for the identity verification component of their tax refund fraud initiative. The state is seeking to avoid tax refund fraud for local residents and is coordinating a campaign about information security to go along with the verification provided by LexisNexis. The work will start early including refunds for the current tax season.
We won’t hold it against you if you missed that it is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, an educational effort on the part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to educate the public about the problem and how to protect themselves. The efforts are timely in light of recent announcements by Target and Neiman Marcus involving consumer data theft. Fraudsters also use tax identity data of both alive and dead persons to capture refunds on filed returns.
LexisNexis already provides identity and background check services for a number of enterprise and public sector clients. CivSource has previously reported on efforts in Florida with LexisNexis to mitigate earned benefit fraud by similar means, as well as efforts in Kentucky to stop cigarette tax fraud perpetrated through smuggling. Because that’s still a thing, and not some old-timey crime you might’ve thought ended with prohibition.
The LexisNexis identity management solutions use identity-based filters to screen tax refund requests against billions of LexisNexis identity records collected from public databases and commercial sources. As an additional level of protection, some taxpayers will be asked to complete an Identification Confirmation Quiz. This series of identity confirmation questions, which only an individual with authentic, personal knowledge could answer, will further confirm Hoosier identities.
The Indiana Department of Revenue will be sending a letter to those taxpayers to provide information about the identity verification which can be completed online.