It’s a sign of the times. Breaches involving the theft of a significant quantity of personal identifying information are beginning to be a common occurrence in our technologically driven world. But one place that you’d think your information may be safe would be with the Internal Revenue Service. Not so fast.
Last May, the IRS disclosed that their “Get Transcript” online application system was hacked. The “Get Transcript” program enabled taxpayers to retrieve information provided to the IRS by third parties. That information would then be used by the IRS to verify information provided by the taxpayer on personal income tax returns.
How many were affected? The number keeps increasing. At least 114,000 taxpayer accounts were initially believed to have been compromised. That number was bumped up to 334,000 in August. Last month, the number of affected accounts was more than doubled to 724,000.
The IRS has mailed notifications to affected taxpayers alerting them to the fact that their personal information may have been criminally accessed.
The hole has been plugged. The IRS “Get Transcript” program has since been suspended.