ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Jessica Douglas, has been a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt since 2006, according to her, Internal Revenue Service fraud is a crime she sees all too often.
"In Florida, we heard in training that, we are one of the highest states in the nation that has victims of identity theft," said Jessica Douglas.
According to Douglas, many tax payers don't even notice they've been a victim of fraud until they're sitting right in front of her desk ready to file their taxes.
"We get it back as an IRS reject, which means somebody has already used your social security number on this tax return and lots of people are completely blindsided," said Douglas.
But the IRS now allows you apply for a personal identification number, or PIN, if you have been the victim of identity theft.
According to Douglas, it's the best way to prevent being victimized again.
"They have a system to fight identity theft, you have to let them know first and foremost, the minute you believe you are a victim you need to call the IRS," said Douglas.
If you suspect you've been a victim of fraud, you must fill out form 14039 and explain how your identity was stolen.
The IRS will then send you a personal identification number.
However, they do not offer PINs as a preventative measure, you can only apply if you have been a victim of identity theft in the past.
According to Douglas, once someone else has claimed your tax return you can get your money back but it's a lengthy process.
The best thing you can do is safeguard your personal information.
"Never keep your social security card in your purse," said Douglas, "all an identity thief needs to steal your information is your social security number and your date of birth," she added.
According to Jackson Hewitt, once you apply to receive a PIN you must use it every single time you file your tax return.