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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft During Tax Season

Tax season is here, and there’s no better time to reinforce the importance of protecting your personal information from identity theft.

Tax season is here, and there’s no better time to reinforce the importance of protecting your personal information from identity theft. Did you know that it’s easier and more profitable for thieves to become you, run up large credit card bills and disappear than it is for them to steal your wallet or break into your home?

Identity thieves most commonly gain access to their victims’ personal information by posing as someone who needs information via phone call or email; by accessing information provided to an unsecured Internet site; by looking through trash for personal information; or by stealing a wallet or purse.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), impersonation schemes flourish during tax season, making it a time of increased venerability. That’s why the agency recently intensified its national crackdown on identity theft as part of a wider effort to protect taxpayers and prevent refund fraud.

The IRS offers the following tips to help you protect your personal information during tax season.

  • Be aware that the IRS will not initiate contact by email or social media to request personal information.
  • If you receive a paper letter or notice via mail claiming to be the IRS, but you suspect it is a scam, check the IRS phishing page at http://www.irs.gov/phishing.
  • If stolen, your social security number can be used by another individual to obtain employment. Contact the IRS if you receive a letter indicating that you received wages from an employer that you don’t know.
  • Choose a strong and unique password, especially when preparing your tax return.

 

A full list of identity protection resources is available on IRSs website atwww.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection-Tips.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ruth February 19, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Thank you for the information. I have always worried this time of year about "Identity theft." My husband likes to do the taxes online. I do not. Even with a strong password, someone can steal your Social Security numbers online.
Patrick Lobo March 06, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Great post. I am really inspire with your post. Thanks for posting:) <a href="http://www.keepmyid.org/">Identity theft protection</a>
Ruth March 09, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Hi Patrick, I looked up the information. Thank you very much. I hope others will look that up, too. You have to put theft protection in the search box. The problem is that my husband has someone else do the taxes and they do it online. That makes it even worse. They might not care about it.

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