Do you know how to protect yourself from Tax Identity Theft?
January 29, 2018
Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal identifying information – such as your Social Security number – and uses it to file a fraudulent tax return or get a job.
Unfortunately, tax identity theft is becoming common throughout the country and could grow based on all of the recent data breaches, some of which exposed Social Security numbers. To help prevent tax ID theft you can do the following:
- File as early in the tax season as possible to get your return to the IRS before the thieves have a chance to steal your identity (and any refund).
- Use a secure Internet connection or take your completed return directly to the post office to help avoid scammers lurking online or looking through unlocked mailboxes.
- If you receive a request for your Social Security number, be sure to find out why it is needed, how it will be used, and whether it will be securely stored.
- Use a shredder before disposing of any documents containing your personal identifying information, such as old tax returns you are not required to keep any longer.
- Research tax preparers before trusting them with your personal records and information. Consider receiving referrals from trusted friends and family.