5 Ways to Prevent Tax Identity Theft
Tax identity theft is a common tactic used to steal an individual’s financial and personal information to file a fraudulent tax return. Ensure your tax return ends up in the right hands this tax season with these helpful prevention tips.
Safeguard Your Social Security Number
A simple way for an identity thief to steal your tax return is by using your stolen social security number. Thieves can use your SSN to file a fraudulent tax return and pocket the benefits. To prevent this from occurring, you should never carry your social security card on you. Instead, always keep it in a secure place in your home with other important documents. Also, never share your SSN with anyone if it is not necessary.
Protect Your Computer
If you store financial information on your computer, you must protect your data from any malicious actors. It’s vital that you install reliable security software updates and continually use a firewall, anti-spam, and anti-virus software to ensure your information is kept private. Otherwise, if you don’t, tax identity theft can easily occur.
Properly Dispose of Bank and Tax Documents
Did you know someone can steal your personal information from the trash can? An identity thief loves searching through the trash to find social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, tax documents, bank statements, credit card statements, and more.
An easy way to avoid having your identity stolen is to shred your documents with professional shredders. Simply ripping up your documents will never do the trick. An identity thief can put the pieces of the form back together to find critical information. So, remember, don’t rip or toss your essential documents in the trash – destroy them with a professional shredder.
Secure Your Mailbox
Locked mailboxes can prevent an identity thief from opening up your mail as certain letters may contain private financial information. Consider installing one for your residence and keep the key in a safe spot so only you and important family members can open it.
Be Aware of Online Emails & Phone Calls
Have you ever received a suspicious message online or by phone call demanding you to give out your private information to “fix” a problem on your account? These emails or phone calls can look and sound like they come from the IRS, but they’re actually from an identity thief. You must remember the IRS never requests financial or personal information through email or out of the blue on a telephone call, and neither will legitimate companies. The IRS and legitimate companies will send you an official letter in the mail stating their reason for contacting you.
Prevent Tax Identify Theft with Tobin & Collins
Your privacy is vital to Tobin & Collins, and we are committed to keeping our client’s financial and personal information confidential and safe. We’ll help you securely prepare and file your tax return on time and provide assistance with any taxation needs. Give us a call at 201-487-7744 or file out an online contact form to get started.