Theft and Taxes: How to keep your tax information safe from thieves

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OKLAHOMA CITY - The massive data breach at Target stores is a strong reminder of how determined hackers are to obtain your financial information.

Another growing area of concern is taxpayer identity theft, where thieves use your information to file false tax returns.

In 2012, there were 1.8 million cases of taxpayer identity theft.

Officials say thieves can get a hold of your information by doing the following:

  • Stealing your  wallet
  • Posing as someone who needs your personal information through phone calls or emails
  • Searching trash for personal information
  • Accessing information you provide on unsecured Internet sites.

Authorities warn that the IRS will never email you and stress that you should never carry your social security card in your purse.

Also, use a strong password when you electronically file your return and shred documents with personal information on them.

If you think you are the victim of taxpayer identity theft, contact the IRS and the FTC.