Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission will conduct a week of events January 26-30 to raise consumer awareness about the threat posed by tax identity theft, a scam that puts thousands of consumers at risk every year.

Tax identity theft typically happens when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using another individual’s social security number, receiving a refund electronically. A consumer typically discovers they have been a victim of tax identity theft when they go to file their own tax return, only to be informed by the Internal Revenue Service that a return has already been filed in their name.

This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week will include:

  • Jan. 27, 2 p.m.: an FTC webinar for consumers, co-hosted with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and AARP addressing how tax identity theft happens and what consumers should do if they become a victim.
  • Jan. 28, 1 p.m.: the FTC and the Veterans Administration will host a webinar with information about tax identity theft for veterans.
  • Jan. 29, 3 p.m.: the FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center will co-host a Twitter chat about tax ID theft – consumers can join the conversation on #IDTheftChat.

In addition to these events, the FTC has created a wide array of materials to help educate consumers about this growing issue, all of which can be found at ftc.gov/taxidtheft. The materials are in multiple languages, and also feature ways in which consumers can share information about tax identity theft with their friends and families.