Thieves steal Murrsyville man's identity to file fake tax return

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PITTSBURGH —

Sue Balcer was filing her and her husband’s tax returns online when everything came to a stop.

“It just coming back error, error, error,” Sue Balcer said.

The Murrsyville couple is depending on this year’s tax return of more than $2,400. Their family is down to one car which they are all sharing after their truck’s engine broke down.

 “It's two teenage girls, two adults in one car. It's hard,” said John Balcer.

“His truck is being fixed and we need the money for it and a new car,” said Sue Balcer. “Now we have to wait.”

The family has to wait because someone stole John Balcer’s identity by using his Social Security number to already file a claim with the Internal Revenue Service.  

The Balcers filed a police report and took two days off from work to prove who he was to the IRS, but agents told him it could be more than six months before the family receives its refund.

“They should have enough information right there to say, ‘Hey yeah, this is you,’ and get our taxes back to us,” said John Balcer.

Channel 11’s Gordon Loesch contacted the IRS.

While the agency could not legally discuss the Balcer’s case, it says it investigated nearly 1,500 identity theft cases last year.

Jennifer Jenkins, an IRS spokesperson said, "Cases of resolving identity can be complicated by the thieves themselves contacting the IRS. Due to the complexity of the situation, this is a time-consuming process. "

The family is not sure exactly how the Social Security number was stolen.

The Balcers said they now have to worry about it being used in other ways so their bank is helping them with credit-monitoring to carefully watch all of their accounts.