The tax deadline is fast approaching make sure to file your return! However it’s important to take precaution in order to avoid tax fraud and identity theft. It’s unknown to most but tax season is one of the more popular times of the year when online identity theft occurs.
Some of the different types of theft include:
- Theft of your social security number
- Fraudulent filing of your tax return
- Tax refund routed to another bank account
Besides fraudulent tax filing, identity thieves could sell your personal information to the following parties:
- Your social security information to people with poor credit
- People with a criminal record
- Undocumented citizens
- Criminals who apply for government funded programs such as social security and medicare
* Identity theft isn’t as simple as replacing missing items or funds. It can include attorney fee’s, lost wages and I.D. replacement
How do I prevent identity theft and tax fraud?
It’s important to be vigilant of suspicious parties when filing your tax return. Other than doing your research on where to file make sure you’re filing with trusted sources and keeping track of your personal information. Some useful tips include:
- Filing taxes as early as possible. The earlier you file the threat of fraud will decrease.
- Be mindful of where you file your taxes and who you file with.
- Properly dispose of or safely file tax documentation containing your personal information.
- Stay vigilant when you receive emails from mysterious parties claiming to be with the IRS.
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