MU warns employees of tax fraud schemes

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri sent out an email to its employees Friday warning that some of its workers have reported being victims of a "fraudulent tax scheme."

According to the email, "Criminals are collecting information from a variety of sources to file fraudulent tax returns on other people's behalf." 

MU Spokesperson Christian Basi said identity theft related to tax returns has been increasing across the country and is affecting some MU employees.

"We've received reports from our own employees here that they too have experienced problems when filing their tax returns," Basi said.

Basi said this form of fraud can affect anyone and MU wanted to notify employees as a "public service."

"Tax deadline is coming up and we wanted to make sure people were aware of various resources in case they do find themselves victim to identity fraud," Basi said.

He said many find out they are victims when they attempt to file their tax return electronically. 

"The IRS reports back to them that the return has already been reported using the same social security number," he said.

To combat tax fraud and identity theft, the university suggests that anyone affected follow these steps:

  • Contact the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) and place a fraud alert on your credit report
  • Contact all creditors involved
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
  • File a police report
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission
  • Keep a record of all contacts
To better assist employees in protecting and fighting identity theft, the university has contracted with Experian to provide fraud protection at a discounted rate.