The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday it has initiated more than 200 new investigations this filing season into identity theft and tax refund fraud schemes, and the IRS Criminal Investigation unit has started 295 new identity theft investigations since January, pushing the number of active cases to more than 1,800.

The nationwide effort by the IRS's Criminal Investigation unit is underway as part of a major effort at the IRS to combat identity theft and refund fraud by pursuing identity thieves, preventing fraudulent refunds from being issued and helping victims of this crime.

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