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DEFENDERS: Watch out for scammers during tax season

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Starting Monday the Federal Trade Commission is launching Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.

One of the most common scams fraudsters try and commit this time of year is by making fake calls saying they are the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS says it will initially contact taxpayers by sending a letter in the mail, not via phone. The US Department of Justice says the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts or over social media.

Here are seven ways you can protect yourself and your information.

  1. File early: This gives criminals less time to use your information to file a false return.
  2. File on a protected network: Try to avoid using public networks.
  3. Use a secure mailbox: If you're filing by mail, drop off your information at an official postal box.
  4. Find a tax preparer you trust.
  5. Shred what you don't need.
  6. Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone.
  7. Keep an eye out for missing mail: Fraudsters are looking for W-2 forms, tax refunds or other mail containing your financial information.

The tax filing deadline is April 15.

ABC 17 News Investigates / News / Video

Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday morning anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.

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