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Don’t lose yourself: Get wise to tax identity theft | News

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Don’t lose yourself: Get wise to tax identity theft
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Don’t lose yourself: Get wise to tax identity theft

Pinellas County, Florida -- Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost time and money, destroy your credit and ruin your good name.

The Federal Trade Commission has named Jan. 13 to 17 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The FTC will host national and regional events designed to raise awareness about tax identity theft and provide consumers with tips on how to protect themselves, and what to do if they become victims.

Accounting for more than 43 percent of the Commission’s identity theft complaints in 2012, tax identity theft was the largest category of identity theft complaints by a substantial margin. In addition, the percentage of tax identification theft complaints nearly doubled, from just over 24 percent in 2011.

Events planned for the week include webinars led by FTC staff in both English and Spanish, a bilingual Twitter chat hosted by @FTC and @laFTC, and a series of regional events hosted by the FTC throughout the country with a focus on states with the highest number of tax identity theft complaints.

A schedule of events is available on the Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week webpage, along with links to planning materials and helpful information for consumers. Visit http://tinyurl.com/o4wt6c9

For more consumer tips call (727) 464-6200 or email consumer@pinellascounty.org

A video about consumer services may be viewed at www.youtube.com/pcctv1.

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