the

Comptroller of Md: Tax Identity Scams Are At An All-Time High

a warning for taxpayers continues the

Maryland comptroller says tax identity

scams are in an all-time high in

plaguing thousands across the state WJZ

is live recruited with more on what

Maryland's comptroller needs to put

criminals behind bars

rip well make these criminals are

becoming more bold and brazen in a

comptroller since without more power

it's tough to get a hold on what he

calls an epidemic it's a nationwide

crisis that's spiraling out of control

thieves digging around for personal

information and cashing in on your tax

return right here in Maryland it's a

kind of an epidemic of tax fraud just

last week the comptroller's office sent

out this letter warning if you received

it and didn't file a tax return you may

be a victim of identity theft we didn't

think it would go to this step where

somebody would try to file our taxes for

us thousands across the state taking

advantage of this quicksand once you're

in it it's hard to get out the

Comptroller says since January they

stopped 4500 fraudulent returns and

confiscated eight million dollars in

fraudulent claims still that's not

enough getting more authority to cover

tax fraud and identity theft has turned

into Peter franchise top legislative

priority and had him testifying in

Annapolis on Tuesday the key piece of

the puzzle is our staff who are very

knowledgeable about this issue being

able to prepare the case francha is

fighting for what's called the taxpayer

protection act he says his office needs

more power to prosecute thieves along

with subpoena powers and the ability to

deliver warrants without control fran

chose says there's no end in sight how

hard is it to get a grip on this problem

without having more authority well

without more authority we're voluntarily

asking the crooks that they would give

us information that would be used

against them and there are criminals but

they're not stupid

the bill has gained a lot of support

from both the governor and attorney

general but is still waiting for

approval for the Judiciary Committee

reporting live downtown tonight I'm Rick

Ritter WJZ Eyewitness News

Rick thank you and anyone with

suspicions or questions about being a

victim of tax fraud is urged to call the

Revenue administration division at one

eight hundred sixty eight twenty nine

thirty seven