Abilene Police Officer George Spindler says that there has been an upward trend of tax identity theft in the past few years and probably correlates right back to what the IRS has seen. "The IRS has seen their numbers concerning tax fraud where identity theft is part of the equation quadruple last year."
Tax Adviser, Larry Carpenter, has been doing taxes for eleven years, but that identity theft was not something he used to have to worry about. "You know until maybe the last five or six years, before that, I don't ever remember dealing with identity theft...now its gotten a little more technical. People are getting smarter and smarter all the time and scams are getting more sophisticated."
One piece of advice that Carpenter shared is to make sure not to fall for the over the phone scams. "I mean its like talking to your brother or sister or mother or somebody, like they have known you all your life..don't fall for it."
One other fact to keep in mind is that the IRS will never solicit information from you over the phone or through an email. If you do get an email or call that you think may be part of a scam, let local law enforcement as well as the Better Business Bureau know.
For more information on how to protect your identity, visit the IRS site.