I help senior citizens correct bill errors to save money and protect their identities.
On Jan. 5, I helped a client phone the Social Security inspector general’s fraud hotline. The recording told us that there would be a 32-minute wait before we could talk to anyone. Such a delay is a roadblock that discourages reports of fraud.
Tax-refund fraud is expected to soar again this tax season, and hit a whopping $21 billion by 2016, from just $6.5 billion two years ago, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
And the problem—which the agency admits is growing quickly—is compounded by an outdated fraud-detection system that has trouble identifying many attempts to trick it.
“The flaws in [the IRS’] system are so basic,” said Akli Adjaoute, founder and CEO of artificial intelligence firm Brighterion.