Three powerful actions that will protect you from tax identity theft

16 March 2017 Published in Alerts

How secure are your tax returns? 

Right now, millions of Americans are filing their taxes—and many of them are vulnerable to tax identity theft. This kind of fraud occurs when scammers file a fake tax return using your social security number. And to add insult to injury, they claim your refund! 

Fortunately, tax ID theft is highly preventable. Just make sure you take these precautions:

File as early as possible

If you haven’t filed yet, there’s no time like the present! The sooner you submit your information to the IRS, the harder it is for fraudsters to impersonate you. Make sure you collect the refund you deserve.

File over a secure Internet connection

Free public Wi-Fi can be a great way to save data, but it also poses a security threat because it’s open to everyone. Never use it when transmitting personal info such as your social security number or bank account information. In other words, if you’re e-filing, make sure you do it over a secure, closed network.

Beware fake IRS correspondence

The Federal Trade Commission recently reported a spike in IRS imposters last year. These people harassed filers on the phone, claiming they could be arrested unless they paid taxes they supposedly owed.

The IRS’s first contact with you will ALWAYS be by mail. Ignore any angry calls, texts or emails you get purporting to be from the government demanding payments.

Finally, if you think you might be a victim of identity theft, you can check your credit report for free, and look for suspicious activity. You can also click here for more information on Identity Theft.

Helpful Resources

Since contact information can periodically change, confirm addresses before sending a letter containing personal information.

Credit Reporting Bureaus/Credit Reports

Equifax
To order a credit report: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud: (800) 525.6285
PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian
(888) 397-3742
PO Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion
To order credit report: (800) 888-4213
To report fraud: (800) 680-7289
PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
Annual Credit Report Request Service
(877) 322-8228
PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348

 

Government Agencies

National Association of Attorneys General
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(855) 411-2372
PO Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
(877) 876-2455
Criminal Investigations Service Center 
Attn: Mail Fraud
222 S Riverside Plaza Ste 1250, Chicago, IL 60606

 

Banking Regulators

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 
(national banks)
(800) 613-6743
1301 McKinney Street Ste 3450, Houston, TX 77010
Federal Reserve Board 
(state-charted banks)
(888) 851-1920
PO Box 1200, Minneapolis, MN 55480
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
(other banks)
(703) 812-1020
2345 Grand Boulevard Ste 100, Kansas City, MO 64108
National Credit Union Administration
(800) 755-1030
1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428


                   

Checking Account Verification/Monitoring Services

ChexSystems
(800) 428-9623
7805 Hudson Rd Ste 100, Woodbury, MN 55125
TeleCheck
(800) 710-9898
PO Box 4451, Houston, TX 77210


                   

Other

Better Business Bureau
Pre-approved Credit Offers
To opt out of receiving pre-approved credit offers
(888) 567-8688

 

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