Alarming news concerning the upcoming tax season, which opens at the end of the month.
Federal agents say the crime of cyber crooks stealing your refund is getting worse.
I.D. protection specialists at the Federal Trade Commission say in the last two years stealing someone's tax identity has become the fastest growing form of I.D. theft.
I.D. thieves have discovered that when you file your return electronically, you don't have to file your W-2 electronically.
So thieves can make up the payroll information to get a tax refund in your name.
local tax experts say it happened to some of their clients last year.
"Their social security number had been used on another return," says Jeffrey Depuy, with Perry and Associates. "They eventually got their refund but it caused a large delay, a lot of paperwork. So the big thing is protect your social security number."
As Depuy says, it all starts with a thief getting your social security number.
The thief then goes online and fills out phony information on wages.
In response, the FTC is launching a campaign this week urging consumers to first and foremost protect their social security numbers.
And also, act quickly on doing your taxes this year.