TAX REFUND: How scammers can steal money you're expecting - FOX 32 News Chicago

TAX REFUND: How scammers can steal money you're expecting

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Tax season is underway, identity thieves are using the opportunity to steal your refund. It doesn't matter if you're in line to get a rebate or not.

Scammers are just using your name, address and Social Security number to create a fake tax return and collect a big refund.

That's why Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to crack down on scammers and give the IRS more resources to investigate tax identity theft.

"They're no longer using a crowbar, they're using a computer and they're getting into people's tax returns," Klobuchar said of the tax return crooks.

In the past three years, the number of fake tax returns has nearly tripled to 2.6 million last year.

"This is a big deal for a family that is expecting a refund, and that delay of six months or more can put a family behind," said Tracy Fischman, executive director of Accountability Minnesota.

AVOID BEING A VICTIM OF TAX RETURN FRAUD

- Watch out for emails phishing for personal information

- Never give out your Social Security number

- E-file only through a secure internet connection

- File as soon as possible, before somebody else does

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