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US tax filing fraud on the riseHackers increasingly use stolen data to file fake US tax returns and collect refunds from unsuspecting citizens.
Tax season in the U.S. is becoming a haven for hackers. A growing percentage of tax refunds is going to hackers filing fake returns on behalf of paying citizens like you and me. [MUSIC] Jerks. The IRS expects more than 150 million returns once tax season ends. Some of those returns have refunds attached to them. This year's average refund is $2,900. That's incredibly enticing to fraudsters looking to make a quick buck. They're using phishing, and email scams to gather information, [UNKNOWN] your tax return before you do Seal your refund and then disappear before your or the IRS knows anything has gone wrong. An IBM security report found tax themed spam e mails designed to steal information increased by a whopping 6,000% between December 2016 and February 2017. They can look like fake IRS e mails, or fake e mails from tax softwares like "TurboTax". That report also reminds us that stolen personal information like W2s and Social Security Numbers can be bought pretty cheaply on the "Dark Web". Fortunately, there are precautions you can take. Some states have opt-in apps that help prevent tax fraud. If you're not in one of those states your best bet is to file as early as possible. If you've already filed thieves can't file in your name a second time, or otherwise overwrite what you've already sent in So, while it's a little late to file early this tax season, it's a good idea to keep in mind for next year. For more information, check out CNET.com. I'm Ashley Esqueda. Be a good human.