The Laramie County Sheriff's Office is warning people about an increase in identity theft cases in the area.

That's according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

The post says many people don't know they have had their identities stolen until they are contacted by a collection agency over accounts they never opened, get bills for products they never received, or are turned down for a loan they didn't apply for. Some of the more common types of identity theft include:

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-tax identity theft. Especially common this time of year, it typically involves someone filing a tax return in your name and then stealing your refund. Tax imposter scams often start with people being contacted by a bogus IRS agent. It's important to remember that the IRS will never start contact via a phone call, but scammers posing as IRS agents often will. These con artists will often take a very confrontational approach, threatening people with arrest if they don't instantly pay supposed 'back taxes" with a prepaid debit card or even a gift card.  The IRS has a hearing process in place for people who actually owe taxes. They will never simply call you out of the blue threatening arrest, nor will they demand payment by a prepaid debit card or gift card.

-Verification scam--the victim receives an email or text asking them to ''verify" their personal or financial information. These types of scams often include a hyperlink phrase that says "click here" or something similar. These are basically just another way to steal your information so that it can be used by an identity thief.

Medical ID theft--Someone steals your Medicare ID or health insurance member number. This is why you should be extremely hesitant to give out that information unless you are 100 percent certain who you are dealing with and that doing so is necessary.

Social ID theft-someone uses your name and photos to create a fake social media account.

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