Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your social security number to file a fake tax return to collect your refund.

Often, you may not know it's happening until you file your real return and the IRS flags it as a duplicate filing. It happens more than you would imagine, according to the Federal Trade Commission, and, they've designated this week, January 25 through the 29 as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The Connecticut State Police took to their official Facebook page to post a few simple tips and reminders to help us stay aware and safe this tax season.

Here's a few tips from the FTC and the Connecticut State Police for protecting your tax ID:

  • Do not supply your Social Security Number unless absolutely necessary
  • File your taxes early, before the criminals do.
  • Shred any documents before discarding in the trash.
  • File your taxes through a secure internet connection, or mail from your post office.
  • The IRS will not e-mail, text, call or contact you through social media; They will contact you through the US Mail.
  • Check your credit report at least once per year. You can check it for free at annualcreditreport.com. Verify no other accounts have been opened under your name.
  • If your Social Security Number becomes compromised, contact the IRS ID Theft Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. You can also visit identytheft.gov.

If the IRS sends you a letter stating that you may have been a victim of tax-related identity theft, visit identiytheft.gov, and get started on a recovery plan. The State of Connecticut also has a comprehensive online guide available by clicking HERE

Adults Attempt Obstacle Course at 'Thrillz' in Danbury