To raise awareness, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established the week of Feb. 3-7, 2020 as “Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.”
Tax season has come rushing in again. For most of us, this time of year can mean crunch time, scrambling, and lots of records clean-up. Whether you’ve had plans for tax season laid out already and they’re going smoothly, or you struggle to compile all the necessary documents needed, there’s one thing everyone who files taxes needs to understand – and that is identity theft. No matter who you are, the threat of identity theft is very real today.
To raise awareness, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established the week of Feb. 3-7, 2020 as “Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.” Here are some tips to keep you safe this tax season.
Tax identity thieves and IRS imposters are ready during this time of year to come out and perpetrate their attacks. In order to protect yourself, you must become knowledgeable of all possible ways they are trying to steal your information.
What they are typically doing is illegally using your social security number to file a fake return and get a monetary refund under your name.
To gain access to your SSN, they are making phony phone calls and trying to get you to give up the data or stealing the information off of paperwork and computers where it lives. (This is why shredding is so important!)
Fight tax identity theft by keeping a close guard of your SSN. Never write it on paper when filling out documents or give it up to someone easily. No matter who they are!
In addition to regularly checking your own credit report for any suspicious activity, you should be proactive and get ahead of the scammers by filing your tax return as early as possible. They will be surprised to find that there is no fake return they can process when you’ve already put your claim for the year.
When doing your taxes you must also be vigilant about choosing a tax preparer you trust and ensuring that if e-filing the data your transmitting is being done so over a secure internet connection.
If you want to learn more about spotting tax fraud schemes and what you can do to protect yourself, be sure to sign up for the various free online events hosted by the FTC this week.
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