Tax Return Theft a Big Payday for Hackers - IdentityTheft.com

Tax Return Theft a Big Payday for Hackers

Tax Return Theft a Big Payday for Hackers

Tax-related identity theft remains one of the IRS “Dirty Dozen” top tax scams. While heftier safeguards implemented in 2016 helped the IRS catch 787,000 fraudulent returns totaling more than $4 billion, they still paid out $239 million in suspicious refunds.

Keep in mind that the 2017 Equifax data breach that exposed the social security numbers of millions of Americans has made it that much easier for identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns, get their hands on your hard-earned tax refunds – and continue to wreak havoc on your credit and finances for years.

Be aware that having a credit freeze, flag or lock in place doesn’t prevent tax-related theft. Your best protection against tax identity thieves is to beat them to the punch by filing your tax returns early every year.