Family Finance: How to protect yourself from tax fraud - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family Finance: How to protect yourself from tax fraud

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Tax return fraud is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

Richard Glaser started the website taxreturnfraud.com to teach people the dangers of this type of fraud after someone filed  his taxes in Ohio, a state he never lived in or visited. The IRS reached out to him to verify the write-offs, he sent in his records, and was then told he submitted the wrong information. He then was told he was owed more money. He eventually discovered someone stole his identity and filed a fake return.

CPA Neville Stein, with Hancock Askew in Savannah, says last year alone the IRS blocked 262,000 fake returns. The most surprising aspect of all of this is that a crook only needs two pieces of information to make this happen.

"We're talking about people that manage to get a name from somewhere and social security, that's all they have to have is a name and a social security number and from that they can

fabricate a tax return and submit it and get a refund. This isn't one little guy doing one little act, you've got whole rings" he said.

The good news? You can prevent this from happening. Stein says it's best to file early, never carry a social security card on you, and protect your computers by using firewalls or anti-virus software.

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