Education on Common Schemes Can Help Prevent Tax Fraud

Every year NBC 5 Responds warns you that cyber criminals could be working to steal your personal information and file tax returns in your name.

This year, thanks to all the data breaches out there, the criminals' work is a little easier.

This week several groups in North Texas are joining forces to fight back.

Major breaches of computers at Equifax and businesses like Sonic Restaurants have many of us wondering when and where we will get hit.

Emergency crews rescued a dog from icy waters in northern Colorado. A fire crew in the city of Centennial was dispatched to a frozen pond where a dog named Bri was found trapped. One firefighter donning a dry suit made his way through the chilly waters to save her. Authorities saved the day by quickly pulling the dog to out of the cold water and safely bringing her to shore.
 

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Cece Morgan, an executive with Intuit, the company behind TurboTax and Quicken, says, "We've made tremendous progress. There's more to do."

Morgan and executives from the Better Business Bureau, the IRS and area CPAs are joining forces to share information on scams and how hackers are targeting them.

Morgan says that crooks know that their company is hiring. These hackers send emails with resumes attached. When the resume is opened it downloads software onto the company's computers and logs their keystrokes.

Tax preparers are vulnerable. By hacking into a company's computers instead of yours at home, they get information on many people.

And thanks to the recent data breaches, these hackers could already have your information, which makes this year a little different. They may not target tax preparers and just file taxes in your name, or come to you to fill in the blanks on the bit of data they don't know.

Educating yourself on what hackers are doing is the best protection. Make sure you keep updated on many of the scams out there.

Surveillance cameras were rolling when a disgruntled motel guest in California came crashing through the front office with his car just barely missing the night clerk. Remarkably, the clerk was not injured. The driver was arrested.

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Take some time to learn why you should never pay for anything with a gift card, wire someone a check, or mail out W-2s or personal information, even if the emails look like it's coming from someone you know.

Having anti-virus software installed isn't enough. Make sure you also have a firewall, and that the sensitive files on your computer are encrypted.

The IRS says their investigators are on it to help protect you, too.