Tax Season is an Identity Thief’s Favorite Season

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 11:29 AM


Stealing tax returns is just another method for identity thieves to steal your identity. This occurs when another person secretly uses an individual’s Social Security Number to secure and file a false tax return. Once the actual owner of the Social Security Number attempts to file their own return, they will be rejected because IRS records indiciate that they have already obtained a refund.

Tax identity theft (double filing) is more common than suspected; between 2011 and 2013, there were 14.6 million suspicious returns stopped by the IRS. The following are basic tips to protecting your identity and how to keep your name and record clean during tax season:

  1. Be aware of information you save on your computer. Personal computers hold on to much more information than many are aware of. By installing a firewall and anti-virus software, you can protect your personal computer. When using the internet, use only strong PIN numbers and passwords in order to prevent any breach of online information.
  2. Secure personal finance documents and previous tax returns. Keep these files and other similar documents locked in a filing cabinet or safe. If you throw them away, shred them first.
  3. Never, ever release your Social Security to anyone or website unless absolutely necessary. Loans or filing taxes require Social Security Numbers; if it is anyone else, question them on their motives before divulging any such information.
  4. Monitor. Consistently check for unusual activity on credit reports. The first indication that your identity has been compromised is a questionable credit score.

Be cautious when you or employees are filing taxes. Identity thieves and data breaches are a hassle to deal with. Protect your computers with ContentProtect.

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