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Tax season means a likely increase in identity theft cases

Identity theft is an increasingly prominent crime, as the proliferation of the internet has made it possible for people to obtain the personal information of others. At the same time, though, the internet can also cloud a person's understanding of whether they are committing identity theft or not. It may seem impossible, but think about this scenario: someone is working for a business that allows them to work from home. They exclusively work online.

This seemingly legitimate job is actually being run by dishonest people -- and the tasks they have had their employees run (such as gathering people's personal information under the premise it is used for lawful reasons) are illegal. Those employees could be accused of identity theft. It is a serious crime that carries serious consequences; and their reputations could be ruined by this unfortunate situation.

With tax season upon us, identity theft is a very important topic of conversation. This time of year usually sees a jump in identity theft claims. W-2 forms are a primary target for some people who are trying to pose as another individual, so it is critical for South Carolina residents to know this and act accordingly to keep their information safe.

At the same time, we need to recognize that there can be extenuating circumstances when a person is accused of identity theft. Until proven guilty, these suspects deserve a fair and unbiased chance to show they are innocent.

That will be a tough case to prove for two women in Colorado who committed an interstate identity theft spree recently. They are charged with illegally obtaining tax documents, financial data and other personal information from other people, all while driving cars that they stole. One of the women was arrested, while the other is still at large.

Source: CBS Denver, "Police: 'Thelma & Louise'-Style Joyride Stretched From Illinois To Colorado," Feb. 3, 2013

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