Are Tax ID Thieves Targeting You?

Are Tax ID Thieves Targeting You?

Are Tax ID Thieves Targeting You?

January 30 – February 3, 2017 is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Your BBB® would like to share information about this week. The purpose is to make people aware of tax identity theft and how to recognize and prevent it. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),” tax identity theft is when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using someone else’s Social Security number (SSN) and steals the victim’s refund. Employment-related tax identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s SSN to earn wages that are then reported as the victim’s income.”

Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the FTC for the past five years. Some of the ways tax identity thieves get your information are:

How do you know if you’re a victim? You may get a letter from the IRS saying that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or you get a letter from the IRS telling you that their records show they received wages from an employer they don’t know. Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490.

How can you prevent your information from being stolen? Here are some tips from FTC, IRS, and BBB:

We hope these tips will help you avoid tax identity theft, but if you have already been a victim go to  IdentityTheft.gov. There you will find resources to help you report and recover from identity theft. You can report identity theft, get step-by-step advice, sample letters, and your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. These resources will help you fix problems caused by the theft. In addition, contact the IRS immediately at 800-908-4490. File a police report or an IRS ID Theft Affidavit Form 14039 [PDF]. Keep a record of dates you made calls or sent letters and keep copies of all paperwork and emails. Also, put a fraud alert on your credit report.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville, and to report a scam, go to bbb.org/scamtracker.

About the Author

Jackie

Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.

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