SAN ANTONIO – Tax season is peak season for identity theft, and this year filers could be more vulnerable.
"Due to the amount of data breaches that occurred in 2017, a lot of taxpayers' information is now exposed and puts us at a higher level of risk when it comes to identity theft," said Miguel Seguro, with the Better Business Bureau.
It happened to Kristyn Ryan, of Bandera, two years ago. Last year, the IRS informed her that she had filed twice.
The "(IRS) said, 'We paid you in February, 8,000 and some change.' I said, 'No,'" Ryan said.
Someone had faked her return.
For information about IRS tax scams and what to do if you're contacted by fraudsters, click here.
"The best course of action we recommend is to file your taxes sooner than later," Segura said.
A years-long prolific IRS scam continues despite numerous arrests in India. It starts with a phone call from an IRS impersonator threatening immediate arrest unless overdue payments are made.
The latest twist has the caller saying the IRS sent two certified letters that come back undeliverable. The filer is ordered to pay immediately by prepaid debit card, which the scammer says is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. It is not.
The IRS continues to warn about fake emails that are simply phishing for sensitive personal or financial information. They may appear to be from the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel or even your tax preparation service. The IRS says not to respond or click on any links.
Need to report an IRS scam? Click here for information.
Segura said anyone who receives a call or email they are not certain about should independently verify its origination simply by looking up the correct phone number for themselves and calling it.
Click here for tax tips from the IRS.