There’s an important consumer event coming up, one that stands to arm the public with information they need to protect their tax returns. Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission, will take place from January 30th to February 3rd, 2017.

This event will help consumers understand what tax identity theft is, starting with what happens when someone files a phony tax return using your personal information to get a fraudulent tax refund from the IRS. This type of crime can also occur if someone uses your Social Security number to get a job, or falsely claims your child as a dependent on their tax return. The FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center will be hosting a special social media event in order to create awareness around this issue.

Each month, the Identity Theft Resource Center hosts an informative Twitter chat that gives the public, industry experts, and stakeholders alike the opportunity to weigh in on important identity theft-related topics. This month’s event will be held on Tuesday, January 31st, at 3:00 PM (EST), and will feature crucial information in understanding—and hopefully, preventing—tax identity theft.

In order to take part in this free, live event, participants must simply log into their Twitter accounts and follow the #IDTheftChat hashtag. For your convenience, you may also log into the ID Theft Tweet Deck chat room by going to after logging into your Twitter account. Be sure to leave enough characters to type “#IDTheftChat” at the end of each of your tweets so that others may see your comments and questions. If you can’t make the live event, you can also search for the hashtag on Twitter at a later date to read all of the discussion surrounding tax identity theft.

More importantly, be sure to follow the Identity Theft Resource Center (@IDTheftCenter) and the FTC (@FTC) on Twitter for information that will protect you and your loved ones from internet and identity theft crimes throughout the year. Remember, this specific crime isn’t limited to a few months at the beginning of the year, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself at all times by learning as much as possible before criminals strike.

As always, anyone who believes their identity has been stolen or their personal data has been compromised is invited to connect with the ITRC through our toll-free call center at (888) 400-5530, or on-the-go with the new IDTheftHelp app for iOS and Android.

If you would like more information about participating in this Twitter Chat contact