Every year more and more people become victims of identity theft without realizing it. This crime is becoming more profitable for gangs who obtain a person’s information either by stealing wallets, breaking into homes, or businesses. Furthermore, identity thieves can obtain personal information such as home address and birthday from social media websites or by sending emails requesting information pretending to be a bank or government agency.
Millions of dollars have been stolen through fraudulent tax return and the IRS identified at least 582,000 taxpayers who have been victims of identity theft. The information is used by thieves to file online tax returns of real taxpayers to collect the refund on debit cards or checks addressed to places where they can collect them and cash them. Even though the check is under someone else’s name, the members of the gangs have managed to cash them using fake identification made by them as well.
To avoid identity theft you should refrain from posting personal information on social media websites, keep your documents in a secure place, pull your yearly credit report, and most importantly, file your income tax return as early as you can.