Wisconsin's revenue agency said Friday that it sent as many as 170,000 forms to taxpayers with mailing labels mistakenly printed with their Social Security numbers.
The state Department of Revenue was scrambling to alert taxpayers to be on the lookout for the mailings.
"We want to prevent any chance identity theft might occur," department spokeswoman Meredith Helgerson said. An agency news release included an apology to taxpayers and a statement that steps were being taken "to make sure that this will never happen again."
The misprinted labels, blamed on a computer error while they were being prepared, went to taxpayers who have used the basic Form 1, a long paper form for individuals, according to the department.
As someone who has been a victim of identity theft, I don't find this kind of mistake very humorous, and I hope this doesn't result in too much damage for the taxpayers involved. I am intrigued by the framing of this as a little "computer error". I've done mailing labels. Computers generally don't make errors like this, that's an operator error. Is it that hard in this day and age to just accept responsibility for a screw up?