FTC Plans National Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today announced that it has named January 13-17, 2014 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.

Events planned for the week include webinars in English and Spanish on January 15, a bilingual Twitter chat hosted by @FTC and @laFTC on January 16, and a series of regional events on January 14 and 15 in California, Maryland, Nevada, Virginia and Washington.

According to the FTC, tax identity theft accounted for more than 43 percent of identity theft complaints in 2012, making it the largest category of identity theft complaints by a significant margin -- and the percentage of tax ID theft complaints nearly doubled in 2012, from just over 24 percent in 2011.

"Tax identity theft is a significant and growing issue," Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "It's critical that we make sure consumers are aware of how they can prevent it, and if they are victimized, what steps they can take to recover as quickly as possible."