The Montana Department of Revenue is warning Montanans to be extra careful about protecting their personal information during tax season."People are stealing identities and then using those identities, specifically social security numbers, to file tax returns and get a fraudulent refund," Department Compliance Manager Micah Christianson said. "Things people really need to be aware of in their lifestyle is that they just need to be on guard.

Christianson said its hard to tell how many people commit fraud every year.

"It's kind of a hard number to nail down," Christianson said. "We know what we've stopped and hopefully we've stopped everything. The number we stopped last year was over 1,200. The dollar amounts that were asked for totaled almost $1.5 million in fraudulent refund requests."

The Montana Department of Revenue is advising the public to make sure their internet connection is secure and to use anti-virus software to keep their data protected.