7 Tips to Prevent Tax Identity Fraud
Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years.
Tax identity fraud happens when a criminal files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security Number to fraudulently claim the refund. Identity thieves generally file false claims early in the year and victims are unaware until they file a return and learn one has already been filed in their name.
Prevent tax identity fraud with these seven tips:
File early – giving criminal less time to use your information to file a false return.
File on a password-protected wifi network – avoid using public networks like a wifi hotspot at a coffee shop.
Use a secure mailbox – drop your tax return at the post office or an official postal box instead of your mailbox at home.
Find a tax preparer you trust – through recommendations or research.
Shred what you don’t need.
Beware of phishing scams by email, text or phone – such as IRS impersonator.
Keep an eye out for your routine mail – such as W-2s, tax refunds, account statements and other mail containing your financial information.
If you believe you’re a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has previously been filed under your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. Once you’ve contacted the IRS, call us immediately to review your accounts.
Source: American Bankers Association
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