AG reminds consumers to protect information when filing taxes

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds taxpayers to exercise great caution this tax season by protecting their personal, identifiable information when preparing and filing their tax returns.

Sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, finances, birthdays and addresses are some of the many things scammers could easily use to their advantage.

Consumers can greatly reduce the risk of fraud by filing their return well before the deadline. This gives thieves less time to file a false return since IRS records would show a return in the consumer’s name has already been filed. They also should use a secure Internet connection and never file their return via publicly available Wi-Fi.

Additional tips include:

Never carry a Social Security card, banking information or any other personally identifiable information in a wallet. Keep such documents in a secure location.

Cross shred documents. Identity thieves rummage through trash to find information.

Be wary of suspicious emails that may look legitimate, but are really a means to steal personal information. Look for typos, misspellings and bad grammar.