Feds Target Pervasive Health Care Provider Tax Scam > Michigan State Medical Society


Feds Target Pervasive Health Care Provider Tax Scam

As reported previously, MSMS was informed of several instances of fraudulent tax return filings involving Michigan physicians whereby legitimate tax returns are filed and a notice is received that the return has already been filed. The problem is national in scope; reaching into 49 states and the District of Columbia, and appears to involve a disproportional number of health care providers. Health care providers affected thus far include physicians, physician assistants, APRNs, dentists, podiatrists, and pharmacists. The source of this identity theft (i.e., the social security numbers, addresses and other information necessary to file a tax return and obtain a refund) is still unknown.

MSMS has learned that the New Hampshire Office of the US Secret Service, which specializes in this type of IRS fraud investigation, is leading a national investigation. The US Secret Service agent assigned to this case is collecting names of physicians and other health care providers who have been affected by this IRS scam. If you are one of those physicians, please notify Stacey Hettiger at 517-336-5766 or shettiger@msms.org with the following information:

  • Full name: Last, first, middle initial
  • Home address
  • Phone number

MSMS will then forward this information to the US Secret Service, who will then reach out to the IRS on your behalf. The Secret Service may contact a sample of the providers affected as it investigates the origin of this breach.

The following is the latest update from US Secret Service provided to MSMS:

  • Leads are being developed on multiple fronts - nationally and internationally;
  • Federal agencies involved in the investigation include: US Secret Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service;
  • The US Secret Service has identified several suspects and expects to begin making arrests. The suspects identified include individuals who are alleged to have used stolen information of NH providers reported by NHMS;
  • The US Secret Services stated the importance of finding those committing the fraud as critical in determining the ultimate source of the suspected data breach; and
  • At this time, there is no solid evidence pointing to the source of the suspected breach.

If you are a victim of this type of identity theft you should also:

  1. Contact the Internal Revenue Service Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 800-908-4490.
  2. Complete and file IRS Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit with the required documentation.
  3. Contact the Michigan Department of Treasury at 517-636-4486, Treasury-ReportIDTheft@michigan.gov, or Identify Theft Unit - Income Tax Division, PO Box 30477, Lansing, MI 48909.
  4. Consider reporting the identity theft to credit reporting agencies:
    • Equifax: 800-525-6285
    • Experian: 888-397-3742
    • TransUnion: 800-680-7289

Additional information regarding tax related identity theft can be found at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0008-tax-related-identity-theft.


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