Federal agents are warning that your tax refunds are the new thing crooks are targeting, and there are few ways to prevent it, or do something about it after you have become a victim.
In a press conference on Monday, prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney's Office said because tax returns filed electronically don't immediately require a W2 form, it is an easy mark for thieves.
They say the key is your social security number.
"People will steal social security numbers, then use those numbers to create fake tax returns," said Ed McClees with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "They'll do that with some of the software you can use to file your own taxes and then they will have the refund put onto one of those prepaid debit cards."
According to the Federal Trade Commission, in the last two years, stealing someone's tax identity has become the fastest growing form of ID theft.