How to Protect Yourself Against Digital Tax Fraud

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Beware of hackers getting your hard-earned tax refund.

With only a few days left to do your taxes, many of us have one more thing to worry about when it comes to filing: hackers.

A growing percentage of refunds are going to hackers who have filed fake returns for real citizens. With the average refund sitting at $2,900, that's a lot of hard-earned money going to cybercrooks.

How are they going about this? Traditional methods like phishing and email scams designed to look like official messages from the Internal Revenue Service are a great way to get enough information to file a fake return for a real person.

And unfortunately, the risk doesn't stop after a hacker has filed a fake return. These fraudsters can still sell your personal information, including a Social Security number, on the dark web.

So, what to do?

Some states have built opt-in apps in the hopes of preventing fraud, but if that's not an option, be sure to file as early as possible, before a hacker files for you.

To learn more, check out the video below from CNET