It is refund time and identity thieves are busy stealing tax payers data, filing bogus tax returns and receiving billions in tax refunds from the tax authorities . Since 2012 the IRS has implemented additional safeguards that have reduced such thefts . However, at the State level, it is a major problem as most States haven’t invested in anti fraud technologies to reduce such threats . What can be done to fight against such threats ? HIPAA like law needs to be created across all industries to protect personal identifiable information . Panseh Tsewole notes the thieves usually got the personal identifiable information from health care entities such as doctor’s offices . However , with HIPAA such entities are no longer the gold germ . Thus , they go after low hanging fruits . Easy targets . The ideal targets include county or city utilities with less than robust security defenses . Some work with comprised employees at various entities that steal and pass on to the identity thieves the PII data . Panseh Tsewole believes a law requiring all PII data to be protected at all times would be a place to start . At rest, in transit and while being processed . For all industries not just banking , finance or health care . Panseh Tsewole’s conclusion is for us consumers to use extreme care . Guard our social security numbers and never give them to an entity over the phone .