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Division of Taxation

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal or financial information, and uses it without your permission. Some items that can be used to steal your identity are:

  • Social Security numbers;
  • Credit card numbers; or
  • Dates of birth.
New Jersey Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Seal
How Identity Theft May Affect Your Tax Records

An identity thief may use a stolen Social Security number to file a tax return in order to receive an illegal refund. Identity theft can affect your current, past or future tax records.

Here are some red flags that you may be a victim of State tax identity theft:

  • You receive a State income tax refund check, but you did not file your State income tax return;
  • You attempt to electronically file your income tax return, but it is rejected because a return using your Social Security number is already filed;
  • You owe tax for a year you did not file a tax return;
  • You receive wages from an employer you did not work for.

What to do if You Believe that You are a Victim of Identity Theft
How to Prevent Identity Theft and Protect Your Tax Refund

  • File your return early.
  • Do not carry documentation with your Social Security number on it.
  • If a business asks for your Social Security number, ask why (it may not be required) and how it will protect your confidential information.
  • Secure all personal and confidential information.
  • Use anti-virus software to protect your computer, smartphone, and other devices.
  • Use strong passwords and do not share them.
  • Annually check your free credit report at
  • Monitor wage earnings by examining your statement from the Social Security Administration.
  • Do not provide personal information through e-mail, text messaging, or social media.
  • Do not provide personal information over the telephone, unless you initiated the call.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 02/21/24