Like a surfer evading overcrowded tourist surf spots, stolen identity refund fraud, or SIRF, is migrating away from better-protected federal turf and heading to the local point breaks: state income tax refunds.

In 2015, state revenue agencies were flooded with stolen identity tax returns—so much so that they collaborated with the IRS and tax preparation and software companies to implement a few quick fixes to better protect state and federal refunds for the 2016 tax season.

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