Hate tax season? You're not alone. Identity thieves, on the other hand, love it. They steal your personal information and then file your tax return, pocketing the money.
Last year, the IRS launched almost 15-hundred investigations into tax-related identity theft. And the numbers are surging. Two years prior, the agency investigated less than 300 ID thefts.
One of the most popular ways thieves get your info is with fake phone calls. Scammers impersonate IRS agents and say you need to pay them now with a wire transfer or pre-paid card. But the truth is, the IRS reaches out to taxpayers by mail and never asks for personal info by e-mail or phone.
Also, be careful who you give your information to. All it takes is one rogue employee at a store, school, doctor's office to steal your identity.
Some tax preparers are also scam artists, so be wary of anyone charging a fee that's based on the size of the refund.