|12/29/2006 – MILWAUKEE – A big screw up by the state could put tens of thousands of people at risk for identity theft.
The error appears on state income tax forms – around 170,000 tax forms were mailed with taxpayers names and Social Security printed numbers right on the front of the booklets.
When we told taxpayers about the mistake, they were stunned. “It’s a very big concern for me,” said one Milwaukee resident.
The Department of Revenue admits printing the information on the tax forms was a mistake. They spent Friday trying to fix it.
“We’ve been working to try to contact as many post offices as we can to alert them to the problem and to find out if they have any of the mailings still in house,” said Meredith Helgerson of the Revenue Department.
Officials hope to stop the mailing before it leaves the post offices. In most cases, they suspect they’re too late.
We told Beth Werve about the mistake. She went home to make sure her Social Security number wasn’t visible. “I’ll be watching to make sure mine doesn’t and I’ll be telling my family to do the same.”
The Department of Revenue advises everyone to be cautious. “This is an issue. Check your mail as quickly as possible. If you’re out of town, contact a very trusted friend or family member to collect your mail for you so that it’s in a safe place,” said Helgerson.
We are only talking about the long form tax booklets for individuals. They make up around 15 percent of all filings. If you filed online last year, you won’t receive one of those booklets in the mail.
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