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Leesburg Police: Be wary of scams during tax season

The Leesburg Police Department is reminding residents to be aware of identity theft scams during this tax preparation season.

The Internal Revenue Service “does not initiate taxpayer communication through email," according to its website.

Police are asking any resident that should receive emails from someone asking for personal information, such as age, date or birth, Social Security number or any bank or financial account numbers, to not share that information. This is known as “phishing," which, according to police, is a commonly used scam to gather information about a person to steal identities. Residents may see an increase in phishing attempts during tax season, they said.

Police are asking any resident that receives an email from someone posing as a representative of the IRS to notify the IRS at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Citizens should regularly watch bank and credit card statements for any illicit use of their accounts. Credit reports should be checked for any evidence of someone trying to start a line of credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act does require the three nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide citizens with a free credit report, when requested. The Federal Trade Commission website, http://www.ftc.gov has p,osted the steps to order a free report.

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the website Consumer.gov have information on identity theft and how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing

Consumer.gov - Avoiding Identity Theft http://www.consumer.gov/articles/1015-avoiding-identity-theft
Federal Trade Commission http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
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