Device authentication tool helps detect tax fraudsters

Identity theft is a big business for fraudsters, but people are not the only victims. Governments lose money when they send tax refunds to fraudulent identities.

The IRS estimates tax refund fraud totals more than $19.2 billion per fiscal year, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. With more than 80 percent of federal and state tax returns filed electronically with no accompanying documents, such as W-2 forms, there is an increased potential for fraud.

Experian announced a new offering that will enable federal and state revenue offices to detect fraudulent tax returns that have been submitted using stolen identity credentials. Experian’s Tax Return Analysis Platform (TRAP) offers device intelligence and risk assessment using both proprietary data and analytics to check for fraud, the company said in its announcement.

TRAP uses Experian’s Precise IDSM identity authentication and fraud detection platform to analyze tax return data points and identify those with the highest potential fraud risk. TRAP can determine if a user’s device is or has been involved in fraudulent activity or if his credentials are already being used in other fraudulent applications. The tool also provides fraud scores that allow revenue offices to further authenticate identified returns through an automated process. Precise ID is Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management –recognized under the National Institute of Standards and Technology and used by numerous government and healthcare agencies to authenticate consumers prior to their access to sensitive information.

“In today’s digital world,  fraudsters have the ability to file false returns and receive another taxpayer’s refund prior to the legitimate filing and weeks before any fraudulent activity is discovered,” said Barbara Rivera, general manager of Experian Public Sector. “Our solution flags fraudulent returns quickly, without adding significant impact or time to the government’s current review process, to protect the tax payer

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