If an identity thief chooses you, it can take a long time to straighten the situation out.  All they need is your Social Security number and some counterfeit documents, and the bad guy can file a fake tax return in your name and get a refund of several thousand dollars.  Houston CPA Bob Fumagalli says he knows people who have had to deal with this...

“The individuals have to contact the IRS and fight to get their refunds, and go through a lot of pain and agony,” Fumagalli says.  “So, it is a real thing that's going on and it's very serious.”

Fixing the situation isn’t a short process, either.

“Delays can take 18 months, two years,” he explains, “before you can get the refund back.”