In a press release today, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said that identity thieves stole prior year tax return information for about 100,000 households. The data included Social Security information, date of birth and street address. The Wall Street Journal reported this as "a major setback for the agency that is charged with safeguarding taxpayer's privacy".
The criminals somehow gained enough information via third parties to answer the personal verification questions and make it through the multi-step verification procedure on the "Get Transcript" web site. The Treasury Inspector General and Criminal Investigations Unit of the IRS have begun a review and investigation of the matter. The "Get Transcript" website has been shut down temporarily.
In total, the IRS has identified 200,000 total attempts to access data and will be notifying all of these taxpayers about the incident.
The IRS will offer free credit monitoring for those affected.
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