WASHINGTON (7/15/15)--South Florida has become a hotbed of stolen identity tax refund fraud, according to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), leading the agency to issue a geographic targeting order (GTO). The order is focused on south Florida check cashers.
Check cashers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are now required to obtain additional identifying information about customers cashing tax refund checks of more than $1,000. This includes a copy of the customer’s identification, a digital photograph of the customer taken at the time of the transaction, the customer’s phone number and thumbprint.
The order is active from Aug. 3 to Jan. 30, 2016. FinCEN believes identity thieves may be attempting to operate their schemes outside of the normal tax filing season to catch financial institutions off guard.
The GTO period represents the span during which the proportion of fraudulent tax refund transactions is high, but the total volume of transactions is relatively low, according to FinCEN.