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Consumer Watch: What to know about tax identity fraud

This week is Tax ID Theft Awareness Week (KOKH).

This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and it is an important time to be on the lookout for tax time scams. The toughest part about tax related identity theft is that you might not be able to tell that anything is wrong until after your file your return.

The Federal Trade Commission and IRS say there are some are some things people should know about if they worry they might be the victim of tax identity fraud. The biggest red flag is if after you have filed your return, you are alerted that a return has already been filed using your social security number. Another major red flag is if on your records you see income from an employer you do not know.

If you are the victim of identity theft, you should set fraud alerts on all credit reporting agencies.

It's more serious if your social security number has been compromised. The IRS would alert you about this, and you should call the number provided on any mailed notice.

Avoiding risk means keeping security up to date on your computer, learning to dodge phishing emails, and scam phone calls. The IRS recommends not making a habit of carrying your social security card with you as another precaution.

Consumer should know that the IRS will never call you, and demand money over the phone or email.

If you receive a letter from the IRS telling you it has a suspicious return using your social security number, you should act fast by following the directions on the official mailed notice.

Click here to find the IRS tip sheet, and form you plan of action to protect your identity.

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