The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service has apologized personally to three identity theft victims who say they were treated rudely by IRS employees.

Douglas Shulman on Thursday told a House hearing on identity theft that his employees need to walk in taxpayers' shoes.

Shulman, however, insisted the IRS takes identity theft seriously and has stepped up measures to prevent it.

The commissioner met with the three victims before they testified at the hearing. The witnesses said they felt like they were victimized twice: once by thieves and then by IRS employees who were supposed to assist them.