(Courtesy of KTVI) - Tax return identity theft is a growing problem.
A St. Peters couple knows firsthand just how frustrating it can be at tax time.
Missouri taxpayers are known targets for tax return fraud. The state ranks third on the list of states with the identity theft complaints.
Jane Preuss and her husband are victims. Last spring she learned someone used their Social Security numbers to file returns.
So the IRS issued identity protection personal identification numbers to Jane and her husband. The idea is you use the pin instead of the Social Security number. A couple of weeks ago they learned another bogus return was filed in their names.
Last month the IRS confirmed an attempt was made to generate e-file pins for stolen Social Security numbers. It's estimated at least 450,000 taxpayers are impacted.
The program has been temporarily suspended
What do you do if it happens? If you do not have identity theft coverage, you should: contact the IRS, file an identity theft affidavit, contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a police report. That's just the beginning
Jane also contacted the attorney general's office and then called the credit reporting agencies and banks. She says you have to be your own advocate. It will take patience.