May 19, 2016 -
MorphoTrust USA (Safran) and the state of Alabama are teaming up to protect citizens against identity theft and state income tax refund fraud using MorphoTrust’s identity verification solution, eID.
Using the electronic ID (eID) application, Alabama residents will be able to protect their tax refunds with something as simple as a “selfie.”
The eID initiative will be an opt-in program that adds a new layer of security regarding tax return processing. MorphoTrust’s eID leverages the secure driver’s license and ID card database managed by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to ensure that individuals are who they claim to be. Alabama taxpayers will be able to place a “lock” on their tax ID within the Alabama Department of Revenue to be sure that tax returns are not processed in their name without their authorization.
According to a statement by the company, the eID application is empowering participants to use their verified identities (including selfies) as a way to protect their personal transactions. The “selfie” provided by the individual filing a return can be compared to the photo on file in the DL/ID database and is used as part of the layered security process. This allows fraudulent filings to be intercepted before the individual and state are the victims of tax refund fraud.
“Tax refund fraud is a core issue for not only Alabama but all states, and we are dedicated to protecting our citizens,” said Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee. “This innovative initiative will allow all taxpayers to put the control in their own hands – and it specifically gives a way for those who have already had issues with identity theft to attain a level of comfort and protection that they did not have in the past.”
MorphoTrust is currently piloting its eID service in Georgia and North Carolina in an effort to target tax refund fraud.
“Protecting and securing the lives of the American people is what we do,” said Bob Eckel, CEO of MorphoTrust. “The issue of identity theft and tax refund fraud is something we can and must address as a business. It will be a significant focus for us this year to successfully prove the effectiveness of the system and be ready to protect against this type of fraud by the 2017 tax season. We are privileged to be working with the state of Alabama to help them protect their citizens.”
According to the Internal Revenue Service, tax refund fraud is expected to hit $21 billion by 2016, up from $6.5 billion two years ago.