Feb 27, 2013 8:01 PM
TUCSON - The I.R.S. says identity theft is getting worse and your tax refund is the target.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators spoke with I.R.S. agents Wednesday and here's what they want you to know.
The I.R.S. tells us they're stepping up investigations of tax refund fraud and cracking down on those trying to get away with it.
It starts when fraudsters get a hold of your name and social security number. They get that information from e-mail phishing scams or hacking your computer or business computers.
Then they file a tax return early with your information routing the refund check their way before you can say W-2.
"People don't find out that their identity has been stolen until they go and file a tax return," says Special Agent Brian Watson with the I.R.S. "And they get a letter from the IRS saying, ‘someone's already filed a tax return using your social security number.' That basically starts the process of getting it resolved."
The I.R.S. says tax filers who victims of this ID theft will get the refund they deserve but it will be delayed, so they're asking people to be patient.