Identity Theft Tax Return Scam Hits Pennsylvania; Have You Been a Victim?

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) was recently notified of several Pennsylvania physicians who were the victim of an identity theft tax return scam where their Social Security numbers were used to file fraudulent tax returns.

PAMED has been advised that the U.S. Secret Service is coordinating a national investigation of this matter. State medical societies have been asked to forward contact and other information regarding our members who have been victimized. Please advise PAMED if you’ve been a victim or know of a Pennsylvania physician who was by calling Kelly Dygert at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2644, or emailing

In late March, PAMED and other state medical societies were notified by the Indiana State Medical Society that a number of Indiana physicians reported that they were the victim of an identity theft tax return scam.

Since that time, PAMED has been made aware of cases of identity theft in other states, including Pennsylvania. For example, in just a two-day period, the New Hampshire Medical Society reported that 85 providers had been affected, including physicians and physician assistants. The New Hampshire Medical Society also reported cases in Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, and Vermont.

According to the reports, someone filed fraudulent 2013 federal income tax returns using the providers’ names, addresses, and Social Security numbers.

The majority of those affected first became aware of this when they received a 5071C letter from the IRS alerting them of possible fraud. Others received a rejection notification when they attempted to electronically file their taxes indicating their return could not be submitted because a return had already been filed under that Social Security number. At least one physician learned of the fraud when he received a large tax refund check before filing a tax return. At this point, no common link among the victims has been identified.
If you have become aware that you are a victim of this scam, you should:

  • Contact the IRS through its identity theft website or by phone at (800) 830-5084.
  • Consider filing a report with the local police in the jurisdiction where you reside.
  • Call the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at (800) 269-0271 to report fraudulent use of your Social Security number.
  • Consider taking steps to protect your financial accounts, such as running a credit report.
  • If you are having problems with the credit bureaus or credit card companies, you may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 441-2555.
  • Consult the Department of Justices’ website for additional tips.

The IRS has identity protection tools on its website.