[IMGCAP(1)]With cases of identity theft and tax fraud increasing almost exponentially, tax preparers should educate their clients about the dangers they face in having their information compromised, according to executives at several credit monitoring and identity protection services.

Consumers are increasingly aware that they are potential targets of tax-related fraud, observed Mike Bruemmer, vice president of consumer protection at Experian. “Between 2014 and 2015 there was a 47 percent increase in the number of ID theft cases, with the biggest portion attributable to ID theft that resulted in fraudulent tax returns and refunds,” he said.

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