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IRS warns public of identity theft

PHOENIX — The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging people to keep an eye on their personal and financial information this holiday season.

The new campaign, called “Taxes, Security, Together” is intended to get the public involved in preventing identity theft. It will consist of YouTube videos, weekly tax tips and local events to raise awareness.

“It’s clear that when it comes to identity theft, we all have a part to play,” said IRS commissioner John Koskinen. “With the public’s help, this will greatly strengthen and improve the new tools being put into place by the IRS, states and industry.”

Koskinen said anyone can fall victim to identity thieves and it can happen at any time, especially online.

“Someone right now is clicking on an email link they shouldn’t or they’re skipping an important computer security update, leaving them vulnerable to hackers,” Koskinen said.

Koskinen said to be on the lookout for those email scams and phone scams as well. The IRS also suggests you do not routinely carry your Social Security card and shred old tax returns and other sensitive documents.

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