Kansas officials are reminding people to be on the look-out for tax identity theft during tax filing season.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan say the theft usually involves a person stealing a social security number. When a taxpayer files their return, it may be rejected because records show they've already received a refund.
During the 2013 federal fiscal year, the IRS reports initiating nearly 1,500 criminal investigations of tax-related identity theft. From 2011 to 2013, the IRS reported stopping 14.6 million suspicious returns.
“Identity theft is growing problem in Kansas and nationwide,” Schmidt said. “Our office has expanded our ability go after those who steal personal information and to educate consumers on ways to prevent identity theft.”
Jordan said his office is taking steps to prevent tax fraud.
“Tax fraud is a monetary and emotional burden for Kansans that we work hard to prevent,” Jordan said. “We've set up our system to make tax fraud difficult and are constantly adapting to prevent new schemes.”
To avoid identity theft, authorities suggest:
*Only provide your social security number when necessary
*Keep personal financial documents in a secure location
*Protect personal computer files
*Monitor credit reports
People who believe they are a victim of identity theft may file an online report with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.