UPDATE: Archdiocese of Seattle issues urgent tax fraud warning; Holy Rosary families affected
UPDATE- 3:47 Mar. 8
The Herald has learned that at least four families that are part of the Holy Rosary parish of West Seattle have been affected by the tax fraud scheme we reported yesterday. The FBI has now gotten involved in the case and the Archdiocese has set up a special email address for the case email@example.com for those who think their tax return may have been compromised or falsified.
Original Post Mar. 7
The Archdiocese of Seattle has sent a memo out to pastors, priest administrators, pastoral coordinators, principals, pastoral assistants for administration notifying them that "there have been victims of fraud in several of our parishes and at the Chancery. We first learned of the issue on Tuesday, but at that time the reports came from only one parish so it was presumed to be a local issue. Since that time we have learned of the same situation in at least two other parishes and at the Chancery."
This issue may affect volunteers with Holy Rosary in West Seattle.
They have hired a national forensic security firm and will work through the weekend on the issue. They have also filed a report with the FBI.
Inquiries should be directed to tax firstname.lastname@example.org.
The text of the message sent follows:
It has recently come to our attention that some Archdiocesan employees and volunteers may be victims of a national tax refund fraud. This may result in delayed or diverted tax refunds.
If you would like to check to see if you have been affected, please check with the IRS to see if a return has already been filed in your name.
You may do this several ways:
1) Log-onto the IRS website to check get the transcript of your refund.
a. You can Google: IRS Get Transcript or click this link:
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/Get-Transcriptto create an account;
2) Call the Individual Tax Line at (800) 829-1040; or
3) Go in-person to a local IRS office. The address in Seattle is: 915 Second Avenue, Seattle
If you find that your tax return is compromised, here are some steps you can take:
1) Report the fraudulent return to the IRS.
a. Contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at (800) 908-4490.
b. You will also want to submit IRS Form 14039 - Identity Tax Affidavit with a copy of
your driver's license.
2) Check the credit reporting agencies and put fraud alerts on your credit reports.
a. Equifax, Experian and Transunion are the three main credit reporting agencies.
3) Notify law enforcement to create a Identity Theft Report.
a. Submit a report about the theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Print a copy
of the report, called "Identity Theft Affidavit."
b. File a police report with your local police station and include a copy of the Identity
c. Create an Identity Theft Report with the FTC with the Identity Theft Affidavit and
your police report.
d. See the FTC website for more information:
If you find that your tax return is compromised, please notify the Archdiocese
of Seattle at email@example.com.