The weeks surrounding the holidays always show a spike in identity theft and stolen financial information. This is often due to the increase in online spending at this time of year; however, shortly after the holidays have passed, identity thieves and scammers often turn to tax-related scams to gain access to Social Security numbers and other vital information.
At The Jones CPA Group, we want all of our clients to know how to protect themselves from tax-related identity theft so that they can be prepared for the coming tax season. Here are some important tips and other information that you can use to protect yourself.
Many instances of identity theft begin with a simple email or telephone scam. It is important that you know how to identify a scam when you see one so that you don’t fall prey to them. Here are a few of the more common scams that identity thieves use to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals:
Sometimes, your personal information can become compromised without you being the victim of an obvious scam, and without you even realizing it. One common tactic thieves use is to file a false tax return with your information early on in the tax season. You may not even realize that your information has been compromised until you try to file a return, and the IRS informs you that your Social Security number has already been used to file a return that year.
Your Social Security number and other personal identifying information can be compromised in a number of ways. To reduce your odds of being a victim to identity theft, follow these tips:
Sometimes, you will take every measure possible to prevent identity theft, and it will still occur. If you fall victim to tax-related identity theft, take the correct steps to stop the activity and minimize the impact on your life. You should immediately respond to any notices from the IRS by calling the number provided. You will also need to fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit from the IRS (Form 14039) and send it in following the instructions provided. Doing so will help to correct the issue as quickly as possible.
If you have more questions about tax-related identity theft, or you want to ensure that your taxes are filed in a safe, secure manner that minimizes your risk, then contact The Jones CPA Group in Orem. Our tax professionals will be able to provide you with the information you’re looking for.