OKLA. CITY - You know him has the banjo toting, bow tie wearing, funny guy on KAUT'S Rise & Shine, but Lucas Ross wasn't laughing when someone stole his identity and tax refund.
“We filed early and we still didn't get anything back and we called up and they said, 'Why did you file twice?' My gut dropped.”
The thief used Lucas' name and social security number to file a Federal tax return and then it happened again years later.
Lucas got burned twice!
The IRS traced the bogus filing to an address in New York.
Lucas eventually got his tax refund, but it wasn’t quick or easy.
What happened to him is common.
The IRS warns of other tax scams and snafus.
Al Coster got stuck owing the IRS big money after his tax preparer made mistakes on his returns.
He said, “I made the mistake by not checking the return close enough I guess.”
Remember, you’re on the hook for what goes on your tax return even when someone else prepares it.
Lucas isn't sure how someone got a hold of his personal information.
One thing he's learned is that humor is a sure way to cope with stress.
“If somebody else wants to be me, they're welcome to it,” he said. Would they just pay some of my other bills too?”
In all seriousness, protecting and fixing your credit is a big deal.
- The first sign of trouble you should file a police report.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask them to freeze your credit.
- Lucas hired a professional accountant to clean up his mess with the IRS.
- He continues to monitor his credit report. You should too.