Experts warn against on-line tax scams

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COLUMBIA - With tax season quickly approaching, the Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to be more alert to avoid fraudulent tax-related offers and scams.

More people are starting to file their taxes through on-line sources every year that could lead them to become victims of tax fraud.

Regional Director of Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau Mike Harrison gives some tips for filing on-line taxes:

-Have an up-to-date anti-virus software

-Take your time and do your research when looking for tax-preparation professionals

-Keep your social security number safe

"One thing they can do is actually file a fraudulent tax return using you social security number," Harrison said. "They can us it to get a job, file your taxes, and you actually do not know a lot of times that has happened to you until you get a letter from the IRS saying somebody's already used your social security number."

The IRS will start beginning 2014 tax returns on January 20, 2015.