CHICAGO (WLS) -- Here's a quick "tax season" tip.
Tax season just kicked off, and according to the Better Business Bureau, taxpayers lost $5.7 billion due to tax scams and fraud in 2022.
The best way to avoid tax theft is to file your taxes as early as possible before scammers have the chance to steal your information and file a fake tax return.
Before you do business with a tax preparer, make sure to ask them what steps they take to protect your data. Make sure to check for reviews online using the BBB's website.
If you're filing your own taxes, carefully check to see that you're on the actual IRS website. Remember that the IRS will never threaten you, demand immediate payment, or ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.
Always contact the IRS directly if you get a notice about an alleged "duplicate tax return" or a notice saying that additional taxes are owed.