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You better get your IRS.gov account before thieves do

You better get your IRS.gov account before thieves do
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Update: Click here to create your account on IRS.gov. Click on the "Get Transcript ONLINE" link to get started.

If you haven't created an account on IRS.gov, now's the time to do it. Even if you're not planning on e-filing through the website, this is a critical step you have to take to secure your personal information. That's because criminals can create an account in your name to steal your Social Security number, sensitive information and even claim your refund.

Security researcher Brian Krebs recently reported on the case of Michael Kasper. Cybercriminals filed a 2014 tax return in Kasper's name and successfully claimed a fraudulent refund on his behalf.

So, how did they manage to file a federal tax return in Kasper's name? It's likely the criminals created an IRS.gov login using stolen information, requested a copy of Kasper's 2013 return and used the information it held to fill out the fake 2014 return. If that's not scary enough, Kasper's case proves that reporting this fraud to the IRS and trying to find a solution is like pulling teeth.

Next page: Read more about this cautionary tale and learn how to protect yourself.
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