What can you do to prevent tax fraud?

Posted at 9:42 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 23:42:36-05

It's tax season. You may be seeing W-2's in your mailbox any day now, but refund fraud is a real problem and many Coloradans learned that the hard way last year.

So this year, the people at the Colorado Department of Revenue are trying to stay one step ahead of the crooks.

“We and tax payers have to be extra vigilant and guard our information against those people who want to take state tax dollars, and refunds that do not belong to them,” said Ro Silva with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Silva says the state is doing even more this year to protect our information.

“We understand that someone is going to be very nervous if they find out because they filed through tax software that their federal return has already been filed and they haven't even filed yet,” she said.

That is exactly what happened to Melissa Skovira, who made the mistake of doing her taxes late.

“It was pretty late. It was the first year I had ever done it myself,” she said.

Skovira used an online tax filing service.

“And right as I tried to submit it, with my social security number, it popped up saying that it had already been filed. I just thought, ‘No. This is definitely  the first time I’ve filed it,” she said.

This year, the revenue department is trying a "two-factor" authentication, asking for both your driver’s license and the last 4 digits of your social to verify your identity. Also, they're asking taxpayers to call the department of revenue if they suspect suspicious behavior to make sure the state is alerted quickly.

And Skovira says, the second she has her W-2's in hand, she'll be filing her return before someone else does.

For tips on how you can avoid identity theft and what to do when you believe you may be a victim of identity theft, visit the Colorado Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Security Awareness and Reporting Identity Theft Web page.