You are just doing your civic duty when along comes a nice looking site just asking for some simple (yet quite personal) information. No one would dare take advantage of a righteous tax payer…would they? Your dang straight they would! According to the IRS, many are becoming victims of identity theft each year and the numbers are only growing as scammers get better and better. Here are some ways to safeguard your identity from these unpatriotic online parasites!
Keep an Eye on your Personal Information
There is no reason you should even be on an unsecure website and you should definitely not give out any of your personal information. There are too many people out there that think that every site is secure. You wouldn’t just give your wallet to anyone, would you? You should first go through the right steps to make sure the site is safe and secure.
Wannabe IRS Agents
Yes, the only thing worse than the IRS showing up to your door, is someone pretending to be the IRS. Why’s that? Well, the fact is that many people will be contacted by an “IRS Agent” who will ask for personal financial information in order to give you a “refund”. Truth be known, you probably won’t ever see that refund. In fact, you might just watch your life pass before your very eyes as someone takes over all of your personal accounts and becomes the new “you”.
How to know you are dealing with Fraud
The IRS will let you know if one of these happens:
• You filed more than one tax return –Either you forgot and did it twice or someone else filed using your information!
• There is a year you owe taxes that you were not legally required to file and therefore did not file
• You were paid by an employer that you never worked for
If any of these notifications come in the mail, make sure you quickly respond and work to correct and maintain the security of your tax account. Even though many make the IRS out to be a bully, they are dedicated to maintaining taxpayer security and resolving identity theft cases.
Resources to help
The IRS has taken initiative and there have been hundreds of arrests since the IRS decided to crackdown on identity theft this year alone. If you find yourself a victim of identity theft while doing your taxes, make sure you visit the Identity Protection home page on IRS.gov and use their valuable resources to get things resolved. Always be careful about who you share your information with even during tax season.