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Americans are ignoring basic tax season precautions and best practices that could prevent stolen identities and personal information hacks, according to a new survey from the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based security firm IDT911.

IDT911’s fraud center saw a 154% increase in tax-related fraud cases from 2014 to 2015, and there are no signs of this type of fraud slowing down in 2016. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said it expects tax refund fraud losses to reach an estimated $21 billion by 2016. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced it received a 47% increase in identity theft complaints in 2015, with tax refund fraud being the biggest contributor by far. These numbers will surely continue to rise if the proper precautions are not taken, the report said.

Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).

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