Tax Refund Scams Plagued Miami-Dade In 2012

With another tax season descending on us, you might want to secure your W-2 or 1099 a little tighter. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami has uncovered more than a dozen rackets involved in stealing tax refund checks using stolen identities of social security applicants, elderly and disabled folks, Marines serving in Afghanistan, and even a corpse.

Each case makes you want to guard your personal information by scrubbing your entire existence from the Internet and equipping your bank debit cards with the super-sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet.

Banana Republican has compiled 10 of the most egregious acts of fake tax refund scams in south Florida as a public service announcement:

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.