Many people are aware of the dangers of identity theft but may not realize how quickly it is growing or the numerous areas in which it can occur. Did you know, for example, that identity theft reports to the Federal Trade Commission jumped by nearly 50 percent in 2015, to almost half a million claims? Here’s another surprising statistic: Tax refund fraud is considered the biggest and fastest-growing kind of identity theft. If you’re not sure how to respond to or protect against tax identity theft, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants offers some timely answers:

Put a recovery plan in motion.

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to let them know and to request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit records. That organization will alert the other agencies and the fraud alert can help prevent further illegal activity under your name or in your accounts.