Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
The IP PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. This service will be available mid-January 2021.
Anyone who has a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and can verify their identity is eligible to enroll in the IP PIN program.
The Consumer Sentinel Network, that is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, tracks consumer fraud and identity theft complaints that are filed with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private organizations. In 2019, 3.2 million identity theft and fraud reports were reported, 1.7 million were fraud related, approximately 651,000 were identity theft issues. In 2019, fraud cost consumers more than $1.9 billion. I listed a few links below from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security on how to protect yourself if you are a victim of fraud or identity theft. Best to be prepared, know your rights and to act quickly to limit the damage.
Facts from the Internal Revenue Service on the IP PIN: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-identity-protection-personal-identification-number-ip-pin