Doctors Targeted in Tax Refund Fraud

Doctors Targeted in Tax Refund Fraud

CPMA has become aware of a tax scam directed at doctors.  Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.

Reports indicate that upon filing a legitimate tax return, the doctor is informed by the IRS that a return has already been filed, most likely by an identity thief.  Affected doctors may also learn of the scam by receiving a 5071 letter alerting them of possible fraud.

The United States Secret Service and the IRS are investigating how the identity thieves obtained the practitioner data needed to file fraudulent returns.  While some speculate that the fraud may be related to a recent Medicare report that listed practitioners' NPI numbers, it is till unclear how the fraudsters obtained the sensitive information.

If you learn that your identity has been compromised in any way, act quickly and consider the following steps.

  • Alert the IRS Identity Theft Protection Unit at 800.908.4490, complete Form 14039 and submit it to the IRS with any supporting documentation. More information is available at
  • Contact the Office of the California Attorney General to register the identity theft at
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877.438.4338 and create an Identity Theft Report at
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report with the three consumer reporting agencies (Equifax: 800.525.6285, Experian: 888.397.3742 and TransUnion: 800.680.7289).
  • File a report with local law enforcement in the jurisdiction where you reside. Bring with you all documentation available, including the state and federal complaints you filed.
  • Call the Social Security Administration's fraud hotline at (800) 269-0271 to report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number. In case your number is being used for fraudulent employment, you can also request your Personal Earning and Benefits Estimate Statement from the Social Security Administration or call (800) 772-1213. Make sure to check the report for accuracy.
  • Consult the Department of Justice (DOJ) website at for additional information