MILWAUKIE, Ore. -- A Milwaukie family's home remodeling project is on hold after a crook hijacked their tax refund check.
Tax fraud always spikes this time of year, but crooks are getting more and more sophisticated. Electronic filings have made things much easier for the criminals. They can now steal social security numbers, then file for tax returns without ever having a face-to-face with anyone.
Camella Collins recently had her social security number compromised and someone used it to file for a tax refund in her name. She was counting on that return money to pay for her new hardwood floors, but now says the IRS informed her that because of the investigation it will be at least 6 months before she sees her refund money.
More: Preventing IRS fraud
They were not that helpful, Collins said. They didn't give me any advice or steps. Ijust kind of had to learn what to do on my own.
If it happens to you, you need to immediately fill out an affidavit with the IRS to prove your identity. You'll also need to contact the 3 major credit bureau's to track any more attempts at fraudulent activity linked to your social security number. It's also a good idea to create a paper trail by filing a police report.