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IRS, AARP offering ways to keep your personal information safe

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The holiday season is prime time for scammers and identity thieves. 

Scammers don't take the holiday off and right now is officially National Tax Security Awareness Week to make sure people know how to keep their information safe this holiday season, ahead of tax season.

 The IRS and other organizations say as you shop for gifts this year, shop at familiar stores and if you're shopping online make sure the website is safe by checking the URL. 

The IRS also says to avoid unprotected public WiFi and put a passcode on your tablet and phone so your personal information stored on your electronics doesn't get into the wrong hands. 

While shopping in stores, make sure you don't keep your social security card on you and the AARP says to buy your gift cards from the actual stores, not the big displays you see in large stores. 

"The reason being is that con artists can actually go to those gift card stands and scratch off the numbers on the back of those cards and they will actually wait until they get activated and spend the funds on those cards before you even get a chance to," says Jeannie Tucker with AARP Wisconsin. 

Another tip, if you're looking to donate to charities this holiday season, check out give.org or charitynavigator.org to make sure the charity is legitimate. 

For more information on how to keep yourself safe this holiday season, please click here. 

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