Ohio AG warns of tax return fraud, identity theft


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's attorney general is offering tips to avoid having a criminal intercept your tax refund.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says criminals can swipe personal information from taxpayers. He says in some cases, they take legitimate Social Security numbers and names to fill out fake tax forms. And then they either alter the direct deposit account or provide a pre-paid debit card number to get the refund.

DeWine says in other cases, criminals target victims by claiming to be tax preparers and then disappearing with refunds.

To avoid identity theft and tax return fraud, DeWine is encouraging people to make sure their tax preparer holds the appropriate credentials by checking with the attorney general's office or Better Business Bureau. He's also telling people to never sign a blank tax form.

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