Tax scammers now are targeting the military.

The IRS warns that scammers are e-mailing current and former military members in an attempt to steal their identities. (H/t the Kansas City Star.)

The scammers pose as Defense Department representatives and use a .mil e-mail address, according to the IRS. They claim that disability compensation recipients are eligible for extra money and ask their targets to send them government documents with personal and financial information to an address in Florida. The scammers then steal their victims' identities to empty their bank accounts, use their credit cards, or apply for loans, credit cards, services, or benefits in their victims' name, according to the IRS.

There are a number of tax scams out there, according to the IRS. For example, some scammers have promised fraudulent tax refunds to low-income seniors and charged steep fees for filing the claims, according to the IRS.

The IRS notes that it never asks taxpayers for their personal or financial information, unsolicited.

The IRS offers these tips for avoiding identity theft:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or any document(s) with your SSN on it.
  • Don’t give a business your SSN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches, and change passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.