|By Bill Vidonic, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Federal investigators caught up with Lugo, 41, in
Lugo's lawyer said he had a drug problem.
"I'm sure he wasn't clearly thinking. It's not going to work when you're dealing with the
As tax season gets into full swing, the
The agency says it stopped 3 million fake returns in 2011, 5 million in 2012 and 6.7 million through November, valued at nearly
Yet a good number get through. In 2012, the
The inspector general said 1.2 million taxpayers were victims of identity theft in fiscal year 2012, and 1.6 million more were affected as of
"It's out there when you're applying for credit and on your medical records. Even if you do everything right, you can't secure it 100 percent," she said.
It has more than 3,000 employees assigned to spot identity theft and has trained more than 35,000 employees to recognize cases and provide taxpayer assistance, he said.
Stunkel said he doesn't know how the fraudster got the
"I think they radically changed their habits," he said. "They had done a lot of stuff online, and now they shy away from that as much as possible. They're concerned about it."
A weak spot came with the release of the
Scammers, for as little as
"For a lot of Americans, it's probably stunning to learn that for
"It's a national problem, and it's increasing here," Hickton said. "I'm particularly concerned about our senior citizens. They are the most vulnerable among us."
With refund season approaching, some scammers call or email people pretending there's an issue with their tax return, said
"They become opportunistic around tax season," Peters said.
A grand jury indicted
"Identity theft doesn't have to be located where the victim is located. It can be across the country, or not even in
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