Waiting all year for your tax refund? Hoping to use the money for a vacation, or home improvement project or to pay a few bills? Every year, thousands of people file their tax returns only to find that someone else has filed in their name already…and collected their refund electronically. Fraud? You bet.

The Federal Trade Commission will be hosting a week of events designed to raise consumer awareness about the threat of tax identity fraud. How tax identity theft happens, what consumers should do if they become a victim, and tax identity theft of veterans are the focus of free webinars the FTC will be presenting Monday, January 26 through Friday January 30.

Here’s some of the highlights of the week:

  • Jan. 27, 2 pm: an FTC webinar for consumers, co-hosted with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and AARP addressing how tax identity theft happens and what consumers should do if they become a victim.
  • Jan. 28, 1 pm: the FTC and the Veterans Administration will host a webinar with information about tax identity theft for veterans.
  • Jan. 29, 3 pm: the FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center will co-host a Twitter chat about tax ID theft – consumers can join the conversation on #IDTheftChat.

The FTC has a press release with all the details of Tax Identity Fraud Awareness Week. You can see it by CLICKING HERE. The link will open a new tab and take you to a site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission.

Also, the FTC maintains a web site that gives consumers a place to register complaints, sign up for the Do Not Call List, access an annual free credit report and more. To visit their site, CLICK HEREThe link will open a new tab and take you to a site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission.

We’ve written in previous posts about the importance of protecting your personal information; and how important it is to not take the security of your data for granted. The FTC’s job is to help consumers spot and stop fraud of all types. Their Tax Identity Fraud Awareness Week, as well as the other resources they offer, give you more tools to protect yourself and your data. By the way, it’s free.