TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Experts say you may want to file your tax return early this year before scammers file it for you.
This comes after a 2017 Equifax security breach where personal information for about 143 million Americans was exposed.
WTVA spoke to a certified personal accountant who says if you file early you'll find out you've been hacked earlier. However, the only definite thing you can do is keep your personal information close by.
"Last year we ran into three or four that once we filed, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) informed us it's already been filed," said Wayne Myles, of Myles CPA firm. "So it's becoming a common problem."
Millions of social security numbers and other personal information are floating around online.
One seller reportedly was willing to sell her a social security number.
People in the area WTVA spoke with were stunned.
"Maybe the Defense Department can take a deep look at the Black Market and try to get control of everybody's information," added Justin Jaynes.
"You think your social security number is something that's private and for you," said Elizabeth Harrison, "But, for someone to get it that easy is scary."
"If a scammer has filed for you, then you know that you can prove that you are who you are," added Myles. "It's just going to delay for a very long time."