Coffee shop Wi-Fi hot spots were called Grounds Zero for ID theft in a cybersecurity webinar by the Federal Trade Commission and AARP Tuesday.

“Any college computer student can hack into a public Wi-Fi hot spot,” warned FTC Identity Protection attorney Lisa Schifferle.

She said it is very important not to file tax returns using those public Internet services.

As another measure of protection, the FTC lawyer said consumers should password protect their smartphones and use another password for mobile banking.

She urged hacking victims to go to which has personal recovery plans for 30 different versions of the crime.

For tax ID theft, she noted the site not only gives contact information for the Internal Revenue Service, but also provides the IRS form needed to propel the start of a formal investigation.

She added victims of tax ID theft can be given a personal tax identifier so crooks cannot use their Social Security number to file false returns to obtain tax refunds.

AARP Fraud Watch network executive Amy Nofziger said one way people can protect themselves from tax ID theft is to file early.

“You want to get your tax fund before the fraudsters do,” she said.

When it is obvious an IRS imposter is calling, Nofziger said, hang up immediately.

“Don’t hold on and try to play detective because if you are on the phone a long time, they put you on a sucker list and give your name to other fraudsters,” the Fraud Watch Network leader advised.