The state Department of Revenue has been stopping more fraudulent income tax returns seeking refunds, department officials say.

Assistant Director Anthony Forschino said the department caught more than $74 million in fraudulent refunds from being sent out in the last fiscal year, up from $32 million in the preceding fiscal year and up from less than $2 million just five years ago.

He said the fraud artists use stolen or fictitious taxpayer information when they file false returns.

Forschino said he attributes the success to efforts by highly trained auditors and investigators and enhancements to the department's computer programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.