Fraudsters, armed with stolen social security numbers and other personal information on nearly half a million people, used malware to systematically request PINs corresponding to those taxpayers, allowing the crooks to potentially file paperwork on their behalf. The swindlers could put their own bank account details on the tax returns, thus channelling people’s rebates into the thieves’ pockets.
“Using personal data stolen elsewhere outside the IRS, identity thieves used malware in an attempt to generate E-file PINs for stolen social security numbers. An E-file PIN is used in some instances to electronically file a tax return,” the IRS said in a statement today.
“Based on our review, we identified unauthorized attempts involving approximately 464,000 unique SSNs, of which 101,000 SSNs were used to successfully access an E-file PIN.”