Overview[edit | edit source]

Identity theft can facilitate employment fraud if the thief uses the victim's personally identifiable information to obtain a job or defraud the government. The Identity Theft Resource Center predicts that for 2009, there may be an increase in the fraudulent use of SSNs — by people who either do not have a SSN or for some reason cannot use their own — to obtain work.[1] This could adversely affect the victim's credit, ability to file his or her taxes, and ability to obtain future employment, among other things.

Not only can identity theft lead to employment fraud, but employment fraud may be a means to steal someone’s identity. Identity thieves may use scams that falsely advertise employment as a means to phish for personally identifiable information. The thief can then use this information to commit other crimes while the job-seeking individual remains unemployed and victimized.

Tax fraud[edit | edit source]

An identity thief may use a taxpayer's name and SSN to obtain a job. When the thief's employer reports income to IRS, the taxpayer appears to have unreported income on his or her return, leading to enforcement action. After the victim files his or her tax return, IRS matches income reported by the victim's employer and the thief's employer to the tax return filed by the legitimate taxpayer. The IRS then notifies the taxpayer of unreported income because it appears the taxpayer earned more income than was reported on the tax return. Employment fraud causes tax administration problems because the IRS has to sort out what income was earned by the legitimate taxpayer and what was earned by the identity thief.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Identity Theft Resource Center, Identity Theft Predictions 2009 (Dec. 18, 2008) (full-text).
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