The Internal Revenue Service has seen a tremendous increase in the number of fraudulent returns filed. As of September 2012, the IRS had identified 641,690 tax-related identity theft incidents from the first nine months of the year. This compares to 242,142 total incidents in 2011 and 47,730 total incidents in 2008.

All it takes for a thief to file a fake tax return is a stolen Social Security number and a fake address. Victims realize their refunds have been stolen after the IRS denies them their rightful check.

Equifax says one can take steps to lessen your risk of becoming a victim to tax identity theft by clicking on the link below.

Source: Equifax Press Release