Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Take measures to protect your data when filing taxes online. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce the risk: Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies, and even the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious email addresses. Protect your personal data. Dont routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.