This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week and the Better Business Bureau and Idaho Attorney General's office are working to raise awareness of the issue.
According to BBB's Veronica Craker, tax identity theft occurs when someone gets access to your Social Security number and uses it to get a tax refund or job. You'll discover it occurred when you receive a letter from the IRS stating more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you do not know.
"Data breaches are one of the top ways scammers get your Social Security number. Think if you had to supply that number to a hospital, university or government agency. If so, there’s a chance it will be stolen. The best thing you can do is avoid using your social security number unless it’s absolutely required," Craker said.
To find out if someone has been using your number, Craker says you can check your credit, or review your Social Security earnings statement through the Social Security Administration.
If you are a victim of tax identity theft, contact the IRS.
"You can contact them through their website at www.irs.gov or through their toll-free phone number. Then you will want to put a fraud alert on your credit report. That will make it harder for a someone to open more accounts in your name," Craker added.
For more information visit www.bbb.org.