(Associated Press) Laura Hankins knew something was wrong when she filed her daughter's tax return and it was rejected hours later: An identity thief already had sent in a return using the 19-year-old's personal information.
"This is the first time in her life she has ever filed income taxes, after earning all of $1,800 stocking products on grocery store shelves," Hankins said. "I did her taxes for her online, but immediately she got the rejection."
Thieves have claimed billions of dollars in bogus tax refunds from the IRS by swiping the Social Security numbers and identities of schoolchildren in Florida, prisoners in Pennsylvania, teachers in Washington state and soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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