Thieves focus on social security numbers, tax returns

12:47 PM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Thieves have more ammunition to steal tax returns and collect your refund.

The IRS said identity thefts are up 66 percent from last year. It's now the agency's No. 1 priority. All thieves need to steal your identity is your name, address and your social security number.

"Here you see phone numbers, names and cities of people. There's about 10 million of these. You have account numbers, email addresses, passwords and password codes for 40 million people here," said Vinny Troia as he pointed to the characters of information scrolling on his computer screen. He's an ethical hacker and information security expert at Night Lion Security in St. Louis.

Businesses hire him to find the flaws before the hackers do. "When companies are breached the data that was stolen will end up on the internet," he said.

Hackers used stolen security numbers to file thousands of tax returns. They collected $4 billion from the IRS in 2012. The IRS is trying to stop the hackers. Three thousand more agents are looking for thieves. The agency is issuing personalized pin numbers to American so they are personally verified when they file their taxes.

The IRS said protect your online tax return with a complicated password. It's hard for hackers to break it.

Take your efile off your computer after you filed it. Put it on a hard drive or flash drive. Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 if you've been a victim.

You may also like... 

Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year

Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant

Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring

Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary

Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer

Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos