Keeping up with identity theft requires diligence on the point of financial institutions, but it also helps when the average taxpayer uses some common sense as well.
As tax-related identity theft continues to increase, keeping thieves away is top priority and keeping your information safe requires assistance.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep your information private! Share your private information only with people or companies that you can identify.
- Get a shredder! Shredding your information can be extremely helpful in preventing identity theft.
- File your income tax return early. A common scam is tax refund fraud — when someone steals your social security number, or that of your dependent, and uses the number to file a false return and claim a refund. Once your return is filed, subsequent returns using the same social security numbers are rejected.
- Read and respond promptly to tax notices. Another tax-related scam involves someone who fraudulently uses your social security number to apply for a job. The first indication your identity has been compromised this way may be a notice you receive from the IRS asking about a discrepancy in reported wages. However, be aware of emails that are scamming or presenting themselves as if they were the IRS.
- Monitor your credit and other consumer reports. Requesting free copies of your credit reports can indicate bogus changes in your employment, which might mean someone is using your social security number. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year. If you request one approximately every four months then you will be able to keep an eye on your information.
If you believe your personal information may be at risk, please call immediately. We'll help with the steps you need to take to protect your identity, including filing an affidavit to put a flag on your tax account and receiving an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number.
We feel that your personal information is exactly that…personal. We do everything we can to safeguard our clients. Stop by Liberty Tax® today to learn more about how we safeguard your information.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.