Federal officers warn of tax season identity theft


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials have warned Alabama residents to be vigilant in watching for identity theft as tax filing season begins.

U.S. Attorney George Beck in the Middle District of Alabama said Thursday nine people have been arrested in recent days and eight are to be sentenced Friday in identity theft cases in the district. He says the cases involve millions of dollars.

He says tax season tends to bring out thieves looking for "easy money" from filing fraudulent returns or from fraudulently preparing someone's returns.

Beck and other officials warned residents to be wary of people trying to steal their identities so they can file fraudulent returns.

Veronica Hyman-Pillot, a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service, said the IRS' top priority is preventing identity theft.

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