Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
While many consumers are still on the look out for fraud from the recent Target breach, tax season is also a popular time of the year for fraud. Follow these tips from the IRS to protect your information. And for year-round protection, find out how Fraud Defender can keep you and your identity safe.
The top three tax scams in the IRS "Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2014" are Identity Theft, Telephone Scams, and Phishing. Each of these relate to stealing a taxpayer's identity information, personal information, and financial account information through various means including dumpster diving and pretending to be an IRS employee through threatening emails or telephone calls.
NuVision Is Now Your First Line of Defense against Identity Theft
Prevention: IRS employees do not call and threaten to take your license, put you in jail, or deport you for not making a tax payment. They also do not send emails requesting payment information via your financial account or credit card. If you do receive one of these calls, make sure you get the contact information including name, phone number and badge number of the caller. Then contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.
The IRS employees at the main IRS Help Line can help you determine if the call or email you receive is legitimate, and they can help you with any payment issues you may have with the IRS. If you know you do not owe any taxes, and you get a call or email saying that you do, once you and your tax professional determine the request is fake, consider contacting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484. I can't stress enough, do NOT provide your personal information to an email request or phone request from the IRS especially if you did not initiate the contact.
The IRS will not contact you by email and rarely by phone to request your personal information. If there is an issue, or a payment due, you will receive a paper letter in the mail.
Take action: If you suspect your personal information has been stolen or compromised, call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 or complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, and report the theft to the IRS.
At the end of the day there is certainly more risk today for identity theft and personal information misuse and abuse. However there is also increased help out there, but to start you need to invest the time and focus to protect yourself. Do not provide your personal and/or bank account information, or make a payment when contacted by phone or email without first verifying the request independently. Be mindful of where you use your credit/debit cards, and keep track of everything in your wallet, so you can report it right away if lost or stolen. And remember, protecting your tax information is just as important as protecting your wallet and perhaps even more so.
Source: Huff Post Money
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