Crime Tracker: Protect Yourself Against Tax Identity Theft - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: Protect Yourself Against Tax Identity Theft

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KHQ.COM - Identity thieves are taking advantage of tax season and trying to get their hands on your tax return. Authorities are warning people to protect themselves and it’s start with protecting their mail. A woman in the Moyie Springs area, near Bonners Ferry has been arrested for stealing mail. In Boundary County, people have reported their W2s stolen. Both incidents prove the threat of tax identity theft is real.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

- Check your mail frequently. The less time it sits in the mailbox, the less time a thief has to steal it.

- Report suspicious people in the neighborhood or lurking near mailboxes.

- File early. Experts say you can beat thieves if you file a real claim before they file a false claim in your name.

- Protect your social security number. Consider this: a thief can file electronically if they have your social security number. They don’t even need your W2. They can make that information up and get your return.

The Federal Trade Commission says that tax identity has become the fastest growing form of identity theft in the last two years. The numbers have doubled in the last year, which is all the more reason to follow every step in limiting your chances of becoming a victim.

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