CHARLESTON - Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers to be cautious if they are filing their taxes at the last minute or awaiting a tax refund.
"The April 15 tax day deadline is quickly approaching, and scammers may be looking to take advantage of those who have still not yet filed. Consumers who have received or expect to receive a tax refund also must stay alert to protect themselves from identity theft," said Attorney General Morrisey. "Scammers have been known to file fraudulent refund claims using another person's identity, which ends up victimizing innocent citizens."
Morrisey offered the following tips to consumers to help them avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
Shred all documents that have sensitive personal and financial information and are no longer needed.
Do not give out your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number to anyone over the phone or via email. Do not carry documents that include those numbers.
If you are using online tax services make sure you are using a secure Internet connection that has firewalls and anti-spam/virus software. Make sure to update security patches and change your password frequently. Do not use the same password for multiple websites.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 and/or the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 to ensure you are not a part of a tax-related scam.