U.S. IRS warns public of identity theft during holiday season
Last Updated: 2018-12-04 09:16 | Xinhua
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U.S. Internal Revenue Service warned on Monday that the public should be aware of identity theft when they are shopping online, especially during this holiday season.

The tax collecting agency of the United States said that the holiday season offered cybercriminals a chance to steal personal information to help them file a fraudulent tax return in 2019.

These information includes financial account details, social security numbers, credit card information and other sensitive data, said IRS.

"With tax season quickly approaching, people should be extra careful during the holidays to protect their sensitive tax and financial data," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

"Cybercriminals seek to turn stolen data into quick cash, either by draining financial accounts, charging credit cards, creating new credit accounts or even using stolen identities to file a fraudulent tax return for a refund," IRS wrote in a statement.

In order to improve online safety, IRS suggested the public to take several steps to protect their personal information from identity theft.

Such steps include avoiding unprotected Wi-Fi, shopping at familiar online retailers, learning to avoid phishing emails, keeping devices like cellphones and computers clean, setting up strong passwords, using multi-factor authentication, and encrypting sensitive data.

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