SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. - From 2008 to 2012, the IRS identified 490,000 taxpayers affected by fraudulent returns. That statistic includes Safety Harbor's mayor, Andy Steingold.
The mayor is also an attorney who is careful with both his and his client's personal information.
Still, ID thieves somehow got his social security number and filed a 2010 tax return in his name.
Steingold says he can think of one time he has given out his social security number, and it was during a visit to the emergency room last year.
Clearwater police are investigating the case.
Economic crimes Sgt. Laura Spelman advises people to avoid giving out social security numbers to health care providers, as police believe health care facility workers have sold lists of patient private information.
The mayor's victimization did not end with one tax return. He claims the IRS failed to flag his file in any shape form or fashion, and you can guess what happened when he filed his 2011 return. It was stolen.
The IRS tells us it has issued pin numbers to 250,000 taxpayers hit with ID theft in the past. Mayor Steingold says he did not receive his pin number until after he filed his return in March.
Now ABC Action News is taking action for you to protect you from ID theft.
Bring all of your old personal documents, and we will shred while you watch -- all for free.
You can find more information at www.abcactionnews.com/shred .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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