Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud
But the real purpose for this article? In late January 2012, the federal government conducted a nationwide sweep to crack down on identity theft and tax returns fraud before the 2012 tax season revved into high gear. The timing of the effort was to try and stem the rising tide of fraudulent tax activity, which involves using stolen identities to file for tax refunds.
In 2017, the IRS found as many as 260,000 identity theft fraud attempts, up from 49,000 in 2010. If my math is correct, that’s about an 81% increase! Tax refund identity theft is a growing trend. Unfortunately, at this time, the IRS has yet to put security procedures in place to stem the tide.
It’s important for individuals to take steps to protect themselves. And most of these steps are simple to put in place without cost.
The ability to file online and commonly used budgeting software.
There is a lot of financial and sensitive identity information on your computerto protect tax refund. Make sure that you’re using secure programs, up-to-date anti-virus protection, firewalls and strong passwords – avoid using passwords that are simple to “crack”.
Some of the most common are: 123, abc123, password, password1, mother’s maiden name or a pet’s name. Hackers don’t even need to spend time guessing because they use programs that automatically try the most common passwords and EVERY dictionary word. And be sure to change your passwords frequently.
Keep an eye on your credit.
Your credit report serves as snapshot of your financial profile, and it’s one of the first places fraudulent activity will show up. You can request a free report tax refund from the 3 major credit bureaus once per year. I suggest you stagger your requests once every 4 months. Consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service. One that provides 24/7 credit monitoring and alerts you to any key changes to your credit file.
Watch your mail.
Email that is. Anyone who’s looked at an IRS form knows that they are not a relaxed organization. They don’t send out emails asking for information. If the IRS wants more information from you, it’ll be a formal request and nothing more. So if an email shows up in your inbox, claiming to be from the IRS, don’t click on anything – but be sure to report it to taxreturn247.com.au.
You need to be aware of the signs that identity theft tax fraud has occurred.
Keep an eye out for IRS notices or letters saying that more than one tax return was filed for you or that IRS records show you’ve received wages from an employer you don’t know. If you receive a notice from the IRS, respond as soon as possible and file an IRS Identity Theft Affidavit.
If you do receive a notice from the IRS indicating identity theft, you should follow the instructions in that notice. A taxpayer who believes they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should contact the IRS immediately so the agency can take action to secure their tax account.
When it really comes to protecting your own Identity, you can’t rely on the government, you can’t rely on any banks, and you can’t rely on law enforcement. If you want to protect your identity, you must become proactive see more here: taxreturn247.com.au.