The tax return fraud impacting people associated with the Seattle Archdiocese is the biggest the IRS has seen on the West Coast, but the agency has seen similar cluster cases in the past.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says they saw an explosion of these cases in 2010 and 2011. He made the comments during a visit to the Seattle IRS office on Thursday.
"The epicenters were in Florida, Georgia, and the District of Columbia," said Koskinen. "So it was really in the East. This was the first major breach I heard of on the West Coast."
Koskinen said besides contacting the IRS, victims should also filed reports with the Federal Trade Commission, police and three major credit bureaus.
A spokesperson for the Seattle Archdiocese says it has received reports of tax return fraud from schools and parishes spanning from up in Whatcom County, all the way down to Clark County. The archdiocese covers all of Western Washington.
According to the spokesperson, it still has not discovered the source of the breach. The archdiocese has hired its own forensic firm and is working with authorities. All they know for sure is that someone got a hold of a list of names and social security numbers of people associated with the archdiocese and then filed false tax returns using their names.