It's time to start collecting information needed to file taxes. It's also time for identity thieves to go to work.
Those envelopes marked "Important Tax Information" enclosed will start arriving in the mail. Things like W-2 forms or 1099's.
Janet Jenkins with the state Office of Privacy Protection warns those items often contain social security numbers and dates of birth. Prime targets for identity thieves who will check mailboxes.
We can't watch our mailboxes 24/7, so how can we protect ourselves? Jenkins says make sure we pick up our mail everyday. Or, if you're going away for any amount of time, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick it up or place a hold on mail delivery through your post office.
The Office of Privacy Protection has been in business for only 9-months but it's been very busy investigating identity theft complaints and passing on them on to local prosecutors.
Jenkins says ID theft is a crime that's not likely to go away. So, everyone must work together to shut it down.