I received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue indicating I applied for a grant and was denied because of possible identity theft. What is the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Program?
The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Program will award $420 million to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to support businesses who are hardest hit by the pandemic and are key to Wisconsin making a strong recovery. The program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and is funded with money received from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act. Applications for this grant closed on June 7, 2021.
What information was needed to complete the application for this grant?
Information reported on your business's 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return, including tax ID number, annual revenue, and your business's primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
Why did I receive a denial letter regarding an application for the Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Program from DOR?
DOR believes the grant application was not filed by you. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) does not have any specific information related to the application denial or how DOR identified this as possible identity theft. For specific questions regarding the denial letter please contact DOR by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 266-2772.
The denial letter indicates that DOR has taken steps to protect my account at DOR, what does that mean?
DOR will review future tax returns and claims filed under your name using your Social Security number or federal tax ID number to ensure the return or claim was filed by you. This review may include verifying your identity prior to issuing the refund or claim. Protecting your identity is a top priority at DOR.
For specific questions regarding those actions please contact DOR by email at WIGrant@wisconsin.gov or call 608-266-2772.
The denial letter indicates that either my business or I am a victim of Identity Theft. How can I protect my business and myself?
Place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit reports and review your credit reports.
Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact the toll-free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting agencies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three agencies to place an alert. The agency you call is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your report, too. If you do not receive a confirmation from the agency, you should contact that agency directly to place a fraud alert.
TransUnion: (800) 680-7289; P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
Equifax: (888) 766-0008; P.O. Box 10569, Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742); P.O. Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013
Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you are entitled to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three consumer reporting agencies, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports.
Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you have not contacted, accounts you did not open, and debts on your accounts that you cannot explain. Check that information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find inaccurate information, contact the credit reporting agency to get it removed.
Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
A security freeze can help protect against identity theft by prohibiting the release of any information on the credit report without express authorization, except to those with whom you have an existing account or a collection agency acting on behalf of the existing account, for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. A security freeze is designed to prevent an extension of credit, such as a loan or a new credit card, from being approved without consent.
Consumers can place a security freeze on their credit reports for free. Parents and legal guardians can also place a security freeze on the credit report of a child or other protected individual.
To place a security freeze contact each of the three credit reporting agencies directly.
Experian 1-888-397-3742 or https://www.experian.com/freeze
Equifax Info. Services LLC 1-800-685-1111 or https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/
TransUnion 1-888-909-8872 or https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
What happens after I check my credit reports and there are fraudulent accounts found?
If you are the victim of identity theft, take immediate steps to protect yourself:
1. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of supporting documents. It is important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
When you open new accounts, use new personal identification numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
2. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Call your local police department and tell them that you want to file a report about your identity theft. Ask them if you can file the report in person. If you cannot, ask if you can file a report over the Internet or telephone.
3. File a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau.
To file an identity theft complaint you have three options, you can:
Fill out the complaint form in its entirety. The more information you can provide, the better DATCP will be able to assist you. Submitting an incomplete complaint form may make it difficult to refer, respond to, or assist you with your identity theft recovery.
Send in the complaint form with copies of any documentation that supports your complaint.
Please be aware that while your complaint is available for public review upon request under Wisconsin’s open records law, DATCP will maintain the confidentiality of your personally identifiable information to the fullest extent permitted by law.
What if I applied for a Wisconsin Small Business Recovery Grant and was denied by DOR due to an error in the application or someone else applied using my business name?
For specific questions regarding the denial of an application, please contact DOR by email at email@example.com or call (608) 266-2772. It is also recommended that you order a free credit report.
How do I order a free credit report?
There are three ways to order a free credit report. You can order online at www.annualcreditreport.com, by calling (877) 322-8228, or by completing and submitting an Annual Credit Report Request Form (forms can be printed from www.ftc.gov/credit). Do not contact the companies individually for your free credit report.
When you order, you have the option of receiving a credit report from one, two, or all three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time. The law allows you to order one free copy from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies every 12 months.
What if I received a paper check from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for funds from the Wisconsin Small Business Recovery Grant and did not submit an application for this grant?
Please check with your tax preparer or accountant to make sure they did not submit an application on your behalf. If they in fact did not, mail the check back to:
It is also recommended that you order a free credit report.
Where can I find more information?
DATCP consumer protection fact sheets: