(KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Internal Revenue Service officials offer tips on how you can protect your identity after an increase in fraudulent tax claims filed in 2013.
Identity theft related investigations have increased by 216 percent within the IRS in the last two years, but that doesn’t mean identity thieves are slowing down.
In 2011, 276 investigations were initiated by the IRS and 80 of those led to a jail or prison sentence. In 2013, the IRS launched 1,492 investigations and 438 identity thieves were convicted.
While the IRS is cracking down on identity theft cases, it’s still extremely important to be aware of where your personal information is and who has access to it.
For example, never carry your social security card in your purse or wallet. Second, never give your social security number to a business just because they ask, give it only when required. Finally, always check your credit report at least once a year.
Unfortunately, identity theft isn’t the only thing you need to be aware of, phone scams have become common in and around tax season and IRS officials say they are very convincing. The bottom line, the IRS will not call you to make a payment on taxes owed; you will receive multiple notices in the mail before an IRS official would ever call you.
For all things taxes and protecting your identity visit: www.IRS.gov