Be on the lookout for identity theft this tax season
For many, tax season can mean a nice refund check, for identity thieves it can mean a time to strike.
This time of year offers identity thieves more than an opportunity to open a credit card under someone else's name.
Tax season offers them the chance to file someone else's tax returns and collect their refund, and it can happen to anyone.
"It can be older people, and especially people who are on disability. We found that once they filed, someone has already filed with their personal information," explains tax expert, Juanita M. Williams, with Bo Williams & Associates.
According to tax experts this was a huge problem in 2011 and 2012, and they say the IRS has took steps to make this year better.
One of the best ways to handle this type of identity fraud is by stopping it before it happens.
You can do this by carefully guarding personal information and shredding official documents.
Dougherty County District Attorney, Greg Edwards, says identity thieves are even starting to pose as financial aid experts to get a student's personal information.
It's important to check your, and your children's records, if you find something suspicious notify the police as well as the IRS.
"Notifying the police, developing a police report, helps when you go and try to get things straightened out," explains Edwards.
The Dougherty County official website offers additional information on how to handle identity theft.