Fiction: Waiting to file your taxes won't make you more vulnerable to identity theft.
Fact: To avoid identity theft, it's best to file your taxes as early as possible. In a common scheme, thieves use someone else's social security number to file a fraudulent tax return and collect a refund. Then, when the real taxpayer files, he or she receives a notice from the IRS stating that a return has already been submitted under that social security number. So the faster you act, the less time an identity thief has to file a return in your name. To keep scammers from getting your information in the first place, be vigilant about how and with whom you share personal data, and always shred documents that contain such data instead of throwing them in the trash.
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