News from BSO

TAXES MAY BE INEVITABLE, BUT IDENTITY THEFT IS NOT

With income tax season in full swing, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the City of Oakland Park have become aware of a large number of income tax service providers opening their doors in the city. With identity theft on the rise, BSO is reminding the community to be careful giving personal information such as social security numbers and bank documents to possibly unscrupulous tax workers. While many of these businesses are legitimate, some are not.

In the past two weeks, BSO Oakland Park deputies, city code enforcement employees and the city Fire Marshal conducted inspections of 16 tax return business locations. There were five arrests, three violations of tax preparer requirement, one work without a permit violation, seven sign violations and 15 fire code violations.

Approximately 31 tax service providers have opened in Oakland Park since the beginning of the 2012 income tax season. BSO Oakland Park is taking a close look into the industry to ensure that the community is being protected.

“Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country. We will not stand by and let temporary businesses operate unchecked while trusting victims put themselves at risk for identity theft,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. “I am happy to stand arm-in-arm with the City of Oakland Park against these devious criminals.”

Tax return preparers need a business tax license from the city and county in which they operate, as well as a preparer tax identification number.

Dani Moschella/PIO

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