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Tax-related Identity Theft: When someone steals your Social Security number and uses it to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund.

According to the IRS, in 2017, 597,000 tax returns were confirmed identity theft. All taxpayers should ensure they are doing everything they can to prevent a thief from stealing their identity.

5 Simple Tips to Help Protect Yourself

  1. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, calls and texts from scammers. These thieves pose as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies and the IRS.
  2. Do not click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails or messages from unknown senders.
  3. Use a security software with firewall and anti-virus protections.
  4. Use strong, unique passwords.
  5. Protect personal information. Ensure your tax records are secure.

Every year, the IRS releases the Dirty Dozen – a list of the largest tax scams they saw for that year’s taxes. The IRS scams list reads like a playbook from the past, with phishing, identity theft, and fake charities making the list.