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Here's why thieves have more incentive to steal your tax refund this year, how to stop them

With the federal government shutdown ending, it's full speed ahead into tax season.

For many, this is a time of anticipation and anxiety.

Some will be eagerly anticipating the windfall of a refund. Others will be dreading the reality that they'll need to pay up when the April 15 deadline hits. And some will be diving into the mix hoping to steal your identity — along with that refund you are counting on.

The Federal Trade Commission has designated today through Feb. 1 as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. And it's worth paying attention: About 20 percent of all identity theft complaints in 2017 involved tax identity theft, according to the FTC.

Thieves have some added incentive this year. Here's why, along with some helpful information from the folks at Call for Action, a national nonprofit IndyStar partners with to operate a free consumer helpline that has saved or recovered $1.4 million for Hoosiers since 2016:


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